Bible Discussion — Acts 25-26

November 19, 2008, 2:30 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, Djere, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com moves on to the next two chapters of Acts.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8 | 9-10
Acts: 1 | 2 | 3-4 | 5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9-10 | 11-12
13-14 | 15-16 | 17-18 | 19-20 | 21-22 | 23-24

 
INTRODUCTION:
Connie:
Paul, still in chains, once again meets with Festus and is offered the deal of going back to Jerusalem to defend himself. He declines and appeals to Caesar, removing the burden of the decision from Festus. But before he heads for Rome, another king visits and asks for an audience.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Josh:
During this retelling of Paul\’s testimony, he included the words from the Lord, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Perhaps it had not been until then that Paul fully understood how hard it was, what the price would be for that persecution.

Connie:
Festus was concerned about how King Agrippa may have been perceiving Paul’s story, and tried to cut it off by calling Paul crazy. Agrippa responds with the famous “You almost had me at ‘hello'” line, later immortalized in Jerry Maguire.

Djere:
The trial before Agrippa and Bernice was a big show, in an arena filled with “prominent men of the city.” Weird.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: The Learned and Mad
Connie: Conversion
Djere: Uncle Festus
Steve: Oh Felix

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Connie:
It reminds me of how Jesus and (later) the disciples had no time to prepare when dragged before their accusers, yet it was always clear that the cases had no merit.

Steve:
Very much like the classic courtroom dramas of the mid-20th century, or even the television procedurals still around today. Can’t you just feel the tension in the air as Paul bellows: “I appeal — to Caesar!”

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Connie:
God sees the bigger picture, ALL the time, and we need to trust Him when going through trials and hard circumstances. I’m sure Paul would have been bitterly disappointed to hear that he could’ve gone free if he hadn’t already filed his appeal to Rome. Or would he? (see below)

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Connie:
Would Paul have felt bad about going to Rome instead of being set free, or just confused? When God gives you a word, circumstances should line up with it. The prophetic should always confirm, not just instruct. Its purpose is to prepare us and give us hope that He controls everything, especially in tough times.

Josh:
Two years later and the Jews were still planning that ambush. I wonder if they\’d eaten yet.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Djere:
26:29 — “And Paul said, ‘I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.'”

Josh:
26:8 — “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?”

Steve:
26:23 — “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Connie:
26:16 — “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.”

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Steve:
After some less successful tries earlier in Acts, I think Paul’s testimony here is his best recorded sermon. He connected with his audience; he established his pedigree; he explained why he had once been just like his accusers. And then he showed them, in clear language, just what God had done to change his life. Accept it and you have to agree with Paul that he had no choice but to follow Jesus; agree with him and the only logical next step is to do the same.

And Paul didn’t leave it there — he made Agrippa choose. “Do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

Connie:
When someone “almost” becomes a Christian, it gives me hope that the Word is inside and fruit will come. We need to be faithful to sow seed, then let God water, grow, and harvest.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Josh:
Waiting two years in prison with no formal charges. Appealing to Caesar for yet another delayed trial rather than insisting Festus rule on his case. These things seem strange until you remember that freeing himself was not Paul\’s concern.

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ”˜You almost persuade me to become a Christian.\’

And Paul said, ”˜I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.\’”

Every chance Paul had for a defense, he chose not to make his own case, but rather, the case for Christ. And so even the governor and the king came to know of “a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”

 
CONCLUSION:
Steve:
A lot of excitement’s left in these last two chapters: sea voyage, shipwreck, snakebite, and even a trip to Syracuse!


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