February 10, 2022 – Thursday
Acts 26:13 NIV
13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.
Yesterday we wrote about Paul being in Jerusalem and under attack for his testimony about his encounter with Jesus on his way to Damascus. A plot arose against his life with 40 men sworn to kill him, so the Roman commander had him moved to Caesarea. A large detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen escorted him there. It was a two day journey and on the second day only the calvary continued on with him to Caesarea.
Governor Felix held a trial for Paul with the high priest Ananias in attendance with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They brought charges against Paul before the governor (24:1-9). Then Paul presented his defense (v10-221), however Felix refused to rule on the case and held him in prison for two years at which time he was succeeded by Porcius Festus as governor of Caesarea.
Festus held a second trial against Paul again by the same people who came with Festus from Jerusalem to bring the same charges once again (25:6-7). Paul again defended himself (v8), I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar. Festus seeking to gain favor with the Jews, asked if Paul would go to Jerusalem to defend himself there. Paul refused and appealed to Rome, so it was decided he would go to Rome before Caesar.
A short time later King Agrippa arrived in Caesarea and upon learning of the case wanted to hear from Paul. That is when and where we come to chapter 26, and Paul once again described his background (26:1-12) ending with being on his journey to Damascus to persecute more followers of Jesus. Then we have our verse of the day, About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. The same as we had read earlier.
However, as he went on, we have new details (v14-18), We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Paul told King Agrippa he was true to the vision and shared with Jew and Gentile they should (v20) repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Later it was determined Paul had done nothing deserving death or imprisonment, but because he had appealed to Caesar he must go to Rome.
I really like how Paul was with steadfast his story and the need for Jesus, even for the Gentiles to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me [Jesus]. The Light came to Paul so he would share the light with even the Gentiles so they might turn from darkness to light.
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for making the Light available to all of us, Jew and Gentile alike. It is a blessing to be able to call upon Jesus in our struggles with darkness in our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton