But Agrippa did answer: “Keep this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out of me!” -Acts 26:28, THE MESSAGE

Like Pilate, the Roman governor who had no idea what to do with Jesus, so Festus, the current Roman governor over Palestine, was perplexed by this man Paul. He too wanted to hand him back to the religious authorities because he felt it was a religious matter. But Paul demanded his right to a Roman trial. He was intent on preaching in Rome, after all, and this meant his way was paid!

Festus called for King Agrippa to join him to discuss the case. Agrippa observed Jewish religious customs and had beheaded James and other early church leaders. But he was intrigued by what Festus told him about Paul. He asked to speak to him, and not surprisingly, Paul delivered a powerful sermon. It’s possible he was being sarcastic, but most Bible scholars believe Agrippa was sincerely touched by Paul’s words. He told Paul, “Keep this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out of me!”

Paul, chained as a common prisoner but always quick on his feet, responded, “That’s what I’m praying for, whether now or later, and not only you but everyone listening today, to become like me—except, of course, for this prison jewelry!” (v. 29).

Did Agrippa become a Christian? Later accounts from Josephus suggest probably not. But the importance of this passage is clear. Paul preached the gospel to Agrippa. He gave him a poignant opportunity to follow Jesus. But the choice was Agrippa’s. Our obedience to God will not always achieve the results we want, but our ultimate call is not to be successful, but to be faithful!

Prayer: Keep me faithful so that I serve you joyfully and obediently all my life, O God.

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