“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” 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.” vs. 27-29
Agrippa's question was an attempt to sidestep Paul's question to him. The king neatly avoided denying his belief in the prophets and accepting Paul's presentation of them, that Jesus is the Christ. Paul replied that whether it took a short time or long, he did indeed hope to make everyone as he was, a disciple of Christ. Those in attendance could not have failed to have been impressed with the bravery and wit of Paul in engaging a king in such lively conversation!
Aggripa's question and his attempt to avoid denying his belief in the prophets and accepting Christ I believe powerfully illustrates the the totality, depth, and all encompassing truth that comprises faith in Christ. We modern "Genitles" I believe fail to realize and embrace this. The Scriptures that Paul claimed were fulfilled and used to argue that Jesus is Lord and Christ were all Old Testament (OT) Scriptures. There was not yet John 3:16, or a "Roman Road" to use to lead someone to Christ.
The use of the OT to argue that Jesus is the Christ was a powerful argument for Paul because those who he was speaking to had the Torah, if not the whole OT memorized and knew it well. Those we witness to do not know the OT well, and I believe most people in our pews really do not know and understand the over all mega narrative and prophesy of the OT as it relates to Christ. This may actually have made it more difficult for Jews to believe in Jesus as the Christ. For if a Jew believed in Christ, it effected everything they knew as a Jew. It affected their laws, culture, religion and understanding of God. The “great I am” would would now has a face and a name. And they would have to surrender and place everything they know and understand of Scripture in the truth that Jesus is Lord.
And we, those in church today, believers, and those souljourners seeking Christ do not graspthis. The lyrics to the song, "What if God was one of us" state, "If God had a face, what would it look like? And would you want to see it, if seeing meant believing in things like heaven and in hell, and the apostles, and in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets." If God has a face, and you come to believe and see the truth that that face is Jesus, then you must accept all the other truths in all of Scripture: the prophets, saints, apostles, the new earth to come, hell, the patriarchs and the cross.
The Jews who came to belief in Jesus as the Christ were in awe and wonder of him because they understood the depth of who he is: He is the Son of man spoken of in Daniel; He is the suffering servant and the root of David spoken of in Isaiah; he is the desperate soul who cries out in Psalm 22; and the list goes on. Christians today are grafted into a tree by faith and most have little or no understanding of its roots. In this age of materialistic, entitlement, and prosperity gospel, Christians really do not understand the tree they are grafting themselves into roots go deep. It is a tree in the shape of a cross.
Reflect on, Who is Jesus to you? Everything written in the OT was fulfilled in Jesus. How deep do your roots and understanding, and awe if him go?
Pray that the Holy Spirit will instill in you a desire to go deeper in you understanding of Jesus.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will instill in us a community of faith who claims Jesus as our Lord a desire to go deeper in our understanding of Jesus and the totality of his Lordship.
Please share your reflections of Acts 26 with us in the comment box below.