Acts 26:1–11 (ESV)
Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa
26 So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
2 “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you,
King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. 5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party
of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by
Jews, O king! 8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9 “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And I did
so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme,
and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
In today’s reading, Paul begins his defense to King Agrippa in regards to the accusations from the Jews. Paul begins
by telling the King that he was raised a Jew. In fact, he was raised and lived as a Pharisee. He is familiar with Jewish life, for he was a Jew. Even to the extent that he persecuted the followers of Christ, even casting his vote for their
death. What he is saying is that he was doing the very things that the Jews are doing to him. Paul points out that the Jews believe in the promise of God regarding the resurrection of the dead, so he shouldn’t be persecuted because
of his belief in Jesus who was raised from the dead. He believes in what God has promised! He will continue his defense tomorrow.
I pray: O Lord, help us to stand firm in our faith, especially
when we hold to your promises. You promised a Messiah and that you would raise him up. I give thanks for Jesus who you raised from the dead. I thank you Father for raising your Son from the dead for the propitiation (atonement) for my sins.