Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
In Matthew 5 Jesus stated:
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
God has set His truth on a hill. Christians are declared to be the light of the world. We reflect the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says His truth, and His people cannot be hid. Christians are called upon to let their light shine before men. The purpose is to glorify God. That is what Paul was doing. He was not holding secret meetings. He was travelling openly and he was preaching openly.
I understand that in places like China true Christians need to meet in secret. The government forbids them from meeting openly. However, even there we find that pastors are being arrested and persecuted. The truth will get out. True saints will testify of the truth.
Paul knew that king Agrippa knew what was going on. He knew of the Judaizers. He knew of the life of Christ. He knew of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He knew of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He also knew of the ascension of Jesus Christ and the subsequent preaching of the Gospel of Christ by the apostles. He did not believe in it, but he knew of it.
In verse 27, Paul asked an important question and then answered it as well. He did not wait for Agrippa to play politics with this important matter. He was not a mind reader. He understood the role of kings well enough to know that kings were not “ignorant” people. He knew some of the background of king Agrippa and he knew that he was instructed in Jewish religious law.
In verse 28 king Agrippa responded to Paul’s testimony. He was being convicted in his heart. He credited that to Paul, but it was actually God working through the apostle Paul that was pricking his heart and conscience. Agrippa was resisting the truth. In his mind his earthly status was of greater value than what could have been his heavenly status.
Paul was listening as he was speaking. He dealt with the situation at hand. Again we see the importance of personal interaction with those in authority. Paul’s response was ready. Paul spoke on behalf of God. He knew it was God’s will for all men to be saved. He did not wish captivity upon the king, but he did hope for him to be saved as well as all those that were hearing him.
Those who are truly saved have received such a blessing that they want others to know that blessing as well. There is nothing greater in life than to know God’s peace and forgiveness. Paul was often directed to open his letters with the words “grace and peace”. Those are two important words that carry great meaning. It is by God’s grace that anyone is saved. Those who are saved carry on by God’s helping grace and they can know His peace in their lives. The lost have neither God’s grace nor His peace. They are on the outside, rejecting God’s offer of grace and peace.
In verses 30-32 king Agrippa and Festus and Bernice and others left the meeting to discuss the matter privately. They would have been wise to do as the Philippian jailer did. He ran toward Paul and Silas and wanted to know what he needed to do to be saved. These people left the room to discuss their thoughts among themselves. Not a wise move.
We see that they recognized that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or of bonds. They realized that he could be set free that very day. However, they also understood that Paul’s request needed to be honoured. God had directed Paul to request a trial under Caesar’s watch. God prepared Paul to go to Rome. The Jews were not interested in law and order. They were committed to a lynching. God had more work for Paul to do. There were more sailors and the people on the island of Melita as well as the people in Rome needed to hear the same Gospel. There was also more Scripture to be written and God had chosen Paul to write more of It.
God’s will was being accomplished even though no one was converted that day. Many heard an undeniable message of truth. Many were given all they needed to be saved. Their rejection of the truth would be very costly for them. However, Paul would be kept safe and be able to continue to minister the truth without interference from the ungodly Jews.
This reality must have bothered these ungodly Jews. They hated Paul and they hated his message. Yet they could do nothing to stop it from spreading. What fools they were for thinking they could stop God’s Word from going forth in power. This is what so many in Canada and elsewhere need to be reminded of as well. God’s truth cannot be stopped. Even during the Tribulation, when the antichrist will set himself up as God, the everlasting Gospel will be preached by men and by angels. God wants people to be saved. The wise person gets saved and then seeks to help others to know the truth as well. That is the high calling that saints have been given.