PRISONER PREACHES TO KING
Leslie M. John
When Paul was still in prison without any legitimate charges leveled against him, King Agrippa, who was Herod II visited Festus the governor. Festus presented Paul’s case before him in order that legitimate charges may be leveled against him before he was sent to Rome. King Agrippa desired to hear Paul’s case. Festus presented Paul before King Agrippa the next day. King Agrippa conceded Paul to speak for himself in defense. The lineage of Herod is from the Esau and they were always against Jews and their beliefs.
(Herod the great killed male children when Jesus was born. Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Baptist, was the son of Herod the great Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and was the grandson of Herod the great. Herod Agrippa II, before whom Paul stood to speak for himself, was the son of Herod Agrippa I)
Paul was very pleased that he was given opportunity to speak for himself in defense. He stretched forth his hand in honor toward King Agrippa and explained the facts to him very eloquently and in a very pleasing manner. Paul spoke of his birth, nativity, and his education. He also said that he was a Pharisee. Paul spoke that he was against Christians before his conversion to Christianity and he narrated as to how he proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ after his conversion.
Paul knew that King Agrippa was very knowledgeable of Jewish beliefs and their customs and, therefore, he acknowledged King’s knowledge about Jews and the questions that prevailed among the Jews. At one point Paul puts King in a very embarrassing situation by asking him if he did not believe in Prophets.
“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” Acts 26:28
Paul, indeed, desired not only King Agrippa’s conversion but of all those who heard his case. It was one such Herod, (Herod the great) that Lord Jesus Christ was brought for justice but justice was not rendered to Lord Jesus Christ.
Knowing that Lord Jesus Christ was innocent Herod mocked him and sent him back to Pilate for dealing with the case of Jesus. King Agrippa was not so much as to insult Paul but heard him kindly and said that if only Paul did not ask to be sent to Caesar he would have released Paul.
Paul had ample opportunity to speak for himself, and during his defense he takes great advantage of proclaiming Gospel to King Agrippa by asking him as to why he should think that the resurrection of the dead was beyond anybody’s belief. Paul said he spoke of the things prophets foresaw about Lord Jesus Christ.
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him”. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)
Genesis 3:15, Isaiah Chapter 53, Psalm 22, Daniel 12:2 and Psalm 16:10 and many more references are shadows of the realities that were to be fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection.