King Agrippa

Acts 26  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Felix the governor left Paul in prison for two years. When Felix’s term as governor ended, another governor named Festus replaced him. Festus found that Felix had left the problem for him to solve: What shall I do with Paul the prisoner? But Festus, the new governor, could not handle this problem either.
Then Festus had a surprise -visit from King Agrip-pa. Festus explained the problem to King Agrippa: The prisoner Paul talked about someone named Jesus who was dead, but he is accused of saying that Jesus is alive.
I would like to hear Paul myself, said King Agrippa.
Tomorrow you will hear him, said Festus.
King Agrippa’s wife, Bernice, also wanted to hear what Paul was going to say. So the place where they would listen to Paul’s speech was arranged, and King Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and ceremony, and all the chief men of the city also came for the event. Then when Festus gave the word, Paul was led in, and the governor made a speech introducing Paul and explaining why he had been arrested. There stood the lone prisoner, chained and facing King Agrippa and his wife. What could he say?
Paul reached out his chained hand and said, I am happy, King Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself and tell you what I am accused of.
Happy? How could a man be happy after two years in a cruel Roman prison? But Paul was glad of the chance to share the gospel message, and he continued by speaking about how he became a Christian.
Paul told how he had been a very religious man, and he knew by reading the ancient prophets that God had promised to send a Deliverer to His people. But surely the Deliverer could not be Jesus, because He had been put to death! How could He do anything now?
The thought of it had made Saul, as he used to be called, so angry that he wanted to kill anybody who believed in this crucified Jesus. In fact, he was on his way to do this hateful deed when a great light, brighter than the sun, shone around him and his followers, and they all fell flat to the ground! Then a voice from heaven said, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?
Who are You, Lord? cried Paul, and he was given the wonderful answer, I am Jesus! Then Paul knew that Jesus was alive again! And this same Jesus sent him to tell the good news of forgiveness to people everywhere, even to those who hated Jesus, to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Paul could understand their hate, because his heart had been full of hate too. But now he was bursting with the good news of forgiveness through Christ Jesus who died and rose again.
Festus had heard enough. He shouted, Paul, you are out of your mind! Much learning is driving you mad!
I am not mad, most noble Festus. I speak pure truth. Then he turned to the king: The king knows these things, for this was not done off in a corner somewhere.
King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets?.   .   . I know you do! said Paul.
Yes, King Agrippa knew all this, but it made no difference to him. You’ve almost convinced me to become a Christian, he said. But to him “almost” was good enough.
Paul’s heart was troubled for all the lost sinners in that auditorium. I wish you were a Christian, King Agrippa, he said, and not only you, but all the others who hear me today! I wish you were not only “almost,” but were truly a believer in Jesus, like I am.   .   . except for these chains.
Then King Agrippa stood up, and Festus and Bernice also stood up. Paul’s hearing had come to an end.
Is it the end for you too? We never hear of King Agrippa again. He let the gospel message slip away. Are you a believer in Jesus who was crucified and rose from the dead and is alive in heaven today? Or is “almost” good enough for you too?
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and.   .   . He was buried, and.   .   . He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-43For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:3‑4)).