Confess Jesus as Lord
Acts 26:1-18: Today we read how Paul answers for himself before Agrippa, to whom he pays a true compliment, in order to secure a favorable hearing. He gives an account of his education from his youth up, shows that the Jews persecuted him for maintaining the hope of the resurrection, states his persecution of the Christians, gives an account of his miraculous conversion, and of his call to the ministry.
Today's Scripture: Acts 26:18
“You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God’s chosen people.”
1 Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak on your own behalf.” Paul stretched out his hand and defended himself as follows: 2 “King Agrippa! I consider myself fortunate that today I am to defend myself before you from all the things these Jews accuse me of, 3 particularly since you know so well all the Jewish customs and disputes. I ask you, then, to listen to me with patience. 4 All the Jews know how I have lived ever since I was young. They know how I have spent my whole life, at first in my own country and then in Jerusalem. 5 They have always known, if they are willing to testify, that from the very first I have lived as a member of the strictest party of our religion, the Pharisees. 6 And now I stand here to be tried because of the hope I have in the promise that God made to our ancestors— 7 the very thing that the twelve tribes of our people hope to receive, as they worship God day and night. And it is because of this hope, Your Majesty, that I am being accused by these Jews! 8 Why do you who are here find it impossible to believe that God raises the dead? 9 I myself thought that I should do everything I could against the cause of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 That is what I did in Jerusalem. I received authority from the chief priests and put many of God's people in prison; and when they were sentenced to death, I also voted against them. 11 Many times I had them punished in the synagogues and tried to make them deny their faith. I was so furious with them that I even went to foreign cities to persecute them. 12 It was for this purpose that I went to Damascus with authority and orders from the chief priests. 13 It was on the road at midday, Your Majesty, that I saw a light much brighter than the sun, coming from the sky and shining around me and the men traveling with me. 14 All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by hitting back, like an ox kicking against its owner's stick.” 15 “Who are you, Lord?” I asked. And the Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus, whom you persecute. 16 But get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant. You are to tell others what you have seen of me today and what I will show you in the future. 17 I will rescue you from the people of Israel and from the Gentiles to whom I will send you. 18 You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God's chosen people. ’
In the Bible, darkness refers to the place of pain and suffering (Psalm 107:10) or confusion (Ecclesiastes 2:14). Light is used in the Bible to describe God or God’s Word (1 John 1:5; Psalm 119:105). How are the notions of darkness and light used in today’s reading? What do they mean to you?
Eternal God, from the dawn of creation until now, you have sent your light into the world. Turn my eyes toward your light, that I may see your glory and know your love. Amen.