The Defense of a Changed Man
The final hearing before Agrippa was not an official trial since its purpose was to gain additional information for the benefit of Festus. King Agrippa turned to Paul and told him he was permitted to speak for himself. Paul did not hesitate. We can be sure he was filled anew and afresh with the Holy Spirit as he began his defense. He first let King Agrippa know that he counted himself happy to make a defense before him and to give an answer with respect to all things of which the Jews were accusing him.
The reason Paul felt happy or fortunate that it was Agrippa who was to hear his cause was the fact that Agrippa was especially expert in all the things concerning Jewish customs and questions. Because of his expert knowledge, Paul begged Agrippa to listen patiently to what he was about to say. He was implying that his words would be helpful to Agrippa also, for Agrippa was a Jew and needed to know the facts, not only of Paul's life but of Paul's message, the gospel.
Now Paul stood there being judged, not because he had done anything wrong, not because he had turned against his true heritage, but because of the hope of the promise God made to the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac. Jacob and other ancestors of the Jews who received His promises). The Jews' accusations against Paul, did not refer to any crime. They really concerned this hope of their fathers. Paul was also called to be a witness, not only for what he had seen but of what Jesus would continue to reveal to him. Paul's heart was going out to Agrippa in Christian love.
Paul did not use this declaration of obedience to honor himself. He used it as a further opportunity to clarify the meaning of the gospel and to show what it means to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Life Application: If you were ever arrested, what kind of testimony would you give to prove your innocence as a believer in Jesus? Our faith in the love of Jesus has to be something we willingly share.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, I am so thankful for Your love that flows to all people. Your love carries us through life. Whatever comes in my path, Your love takes me through it victoriously. I know that I can be sure that Your love will never come to an end. Hallelujah! Amen!