Confess Jesus as Lord
Acts 26:19-27:12: In today’s reading, Paul continues to defend himself before Agrippa. While he is speaking, Festus interrupts him and declares him to be mad because of his abundant learning. Paul appeals to King Agrippa for the truth. The council pronounces him innocent. He still has to go to Rome to be tried by the Emperor. The journey is a difficult one.
Today's Scripture: Acts 26:22, 23
“But to this very day I have been helped by God, and so I stand here giving my witness to all, to small and great alike. What I say is the very same thing which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen: that the Messiah must suffer and be the first one to rise from death, to announce the light of salvation to the Jews and to the Gentiles.”
19 And so, King Agrippa, I did not disobey the vision I had from heaven. 20 First in Damascus and in Jerusalem and then in the whole country of Israel and among the Gentiles, I preached that they must repent of their sins and turn to God and do the things that would show they had repented. 21 It was for this reason that these Jews seized me while I was in the Temple, and they tried to kill me. 22 But to this very day I have been helped by God, and so I stand here giving my witness to all, to small and great alike. What I say is the very same thing which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen: 23 that the Messiah must suffer and be the first one to rise from death, to announce the light of salvation to the Jews and to the Gentiles. ” 24 As Paul defended himself in this way, Festus shouted at him, “You are mad, Paul! Your great learning is driving you mad!” 25 Paul answered, “I am not mad, Your Excellency! I am speaking the sober truth. 26 King Agrippa! I can speak to you with all boldness, because you know about these things. I am sure that you have taken notice of every one of them, for this thing has not happened hidden away in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do! ” 28 Agrippa said to Paul, “In this short time do you think you will make me a Christian?” 29 “Whether a short time or a long time,” Paul answered, “my prayer to God is that you and all the rest of you who are listening to me today might become what I am—except, of course, for these chains!” 30 Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others got up, 31 and after leaving they said to each other, “This man has not done anything for which he should die or be put in prison.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to the Emperor.” 1 When it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they handed Paul and some other prisoners over to Julius, an officer in the Roman army regiment called “The Emperor's Regiment.” 2 We went aboard a ship from Adramyttium, which was ready to leave for the seaports of the province of Asia, and we sailed away. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. 3 The next day we arrived at Sidon. Julius was kind to Paul and allowed him to go and see his friends, to be given what he needed. 4 We went on from there, and because the winds were blowing against us, we sailed on the sheltered side of the island of Cyprus. 5 We crossed over the sea off Cilicia and Pamphylia and came to Myra in Lycia. 6 There the officer found a ship from Alexandria that was going to sail for Italy, so he put us aboard. 7 We sailed slowly for several days and with great difficulty finally arrived off the town of Cnidus. The wind would not let us go any farther in that direction, so we sailed down the sheltered side of the island of Crete, passing by Cape Salmone. 8 We kept close to the coast and with great difficulty came to a place called Safe Harbors, not far from the town of Lasea. 9 We spent a long time there, until it became dangerous to continue the voyage, for by now the Day of Atonement was already past. So Paul gave them this advice: 10 “Men, I see that our voyage from here on will be dangerous; there will be great damage to the cargo and to the ship, and loss of life as well.” 11 But the army officer was convinced by what the captain and the owner of the ship said, and not by what Paul said. 12 The harbor was not a good one to spend the winter in; so almost everyone was in favor of putting out to sea and trying to reach Phoenix, if possible, in order to spend the winter there. Phoenix is a harbor in Crete that faces southwest and northwest.
Verse 27:9 references the Day of Atonement. This Jewish festival occurs at the end of September. The sailing season was dangerous after the middle of September, which confirms that Paul was on a hazardous trip. Why was it so important for him to defend himself before the Emperor in Rome?
Almighty God, when my life’s journey gets stormy and rough, calm my spirit. Lead me to the still waters that bring renewal, and carry me home safely. Amen.