Acts 26 tells us of Paul’s testimony before King Herod Agrippa II. In the ongoing saga of Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem, he has defended himself before the crowds, before the Sanhedrin and before the governors Felix and Festus, and now has the opportunity to speak before the king himself. Undaunted by all the pomp and grandeur of a meeting with royalty, Paul not only recounts his personal history, both as a faithful Jew and as someone whose life was turned around by meeting with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, but challenges his audience to consider what the implications for their own lives are if God really has raised Jesus from the dead. Agrippa clearly understood these implications, saying, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28) Paul’s answer is that he wishes all men could become as he is (minus the chains of imprisonment!) We see here the fulfilment of his calling to be a witness for Jesus as he proclaims the gospel in every setting imaginable.

Jesus had warned his disciples that testimony to him would be required. He said, ‘But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.’ (Luke 21:14-15) Paul is living proof that this happened, for at the end of Acts 26 we see that both Agrippa and all the judges present agreed that he had not done anything worthy of imprisonment and could have been released had he not appealed to Caesar. (Acts 26:31-32)

We may look at this chapter from a historical point of view, but all Scripture has something useful to teach us today, in our own situations too. We too have a testimony to share, a story to tell. We may never have to testify before kings, but we are all called to be ready to give a reason for the hope we have. (1 Pet 3:15) May God give us words and wisdom in every situation so that His story is told through our lives to all we meet.