It seems incredible that all of this pomp and ceremony was because of one simple Jewish man who faithfully preached the Gospel of Jesus! But the Lord had promised Paul that he would bear witness before “Gentiles and Kings” (Acts 9:15), and that promise was being fulfilled once again. Paul himself appealed to Caesar, the right of every Roman citizen, and in doing so he forced the governor’s hand. Festus had identified that this was a matter of religious disagreement, and yet, because of Paul’s appeal, he had to now prepare Paul to be brought before Emperor Nero. He mentions Paul’s situation to King Agrippa during his visit perhaps in the hope that he might have better luck finding a valid accusation to send with Paul to the emperor. The King, however, is intrigued to hear Paul’s story and so before we know it Paul is preparing to share the good news of Jesus before royalty!
This scene is a tiny glimpse the gospel’s ability to shake rulers and nations. It may not look like much now, but less than 300 years later the emperor himself would become a follower of ‘The Way’ and in time the entire Roman Empire will proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul’s faithfulness in this moment and willingness to go wherever the Spirit leads, played a part in transforming so much of Western civilization with the good news of Jesus!
- What aspect of society, that seems unchangeable, would you like to see transformed by the good news of Jesus?
- Where might God be calling you to faithfully follow his lead as you play your small part in his bigger plans and purposes?
- What are some of the ways we can get better at understanding and trusting God’s big picture in our daily lives?
King Jesus, thank you that your gospel has power far beyond what can see in the present moment. Help me to play my small part in bringing your life-giving kingdom into this broken world. Amen.