The Apostle Paul: Out of Your Mind.

24 “And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” (Acts 26:24–29 (ESV)

What are some typical responses to the Gospel? Well, I have had people become angry at me, shut their front door in my face, dismiss me as making much ado about nothing, and/or tell me their hope for eternal life was that they were baptized as an infant. There have even been some who have repented of their sins and trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Hallelujah!

However, no one has ever told me I was crazy for believing the Gospel that I was either sharing or preaching. Maybe they thought it, but they did not say it. The same could not be said by Paul.

Governor Festus said, in an intense and loud voice, that Paul was insane or a raving lunatic. The governor reasoned that Paul’s great intelligence and education had driven him mad.

Paul rationally answered Festus by saying, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”

Paul backed King Agrippa II into a so-called corner. In other words, the king faced a moral dilemma. If he said that he did not believe the Old Testament prophets, he would make the Jews angry. If he said that he did, Paul would urge him to confess Jesus Christ as the Messiah, which would have angered the Jews even more.

Agrippa tried a delay tactic. He said, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” Repenting of one’s sin and trusting Christ as Lord and Savior does not require a lengthy discussion. Was Agrippa under conviction of his sin? Was he on the verge of conversion? Whatever his condition, he expressed the need to think. It does seem that Agrippa may have used the term “Christian” with a degree of sarcasm or scorn.

Paul responded by saying, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”

Paul’s desire was that for all those who heard the Gospel they would receive Christ and become a believer. This was his fervent hope. May it be our hope as well for all those to whom we share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!  

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