v1 Paul is going to defend himself by giving testimony of what G-d has done in his life and by revealing a very important promise (covenant) that is relevant for all of humanity.
v3 Agrippa has a foundation for understanding what Paul is going to say.
v4 Paul had a reputation in the Jewish community.
v5 There were many sects and many different leaders (who all had their own bent on the Word of G-d) within Judaism.
v6 Hope is a Kingdom promise from G-d that He has extended to all people. It doesn’t originate in our own desires but is rooted in the resurrection. Do we really believe there is a Kingdom coming and do we live like there is one? (the mention of the patriarchs reminds us of faith. Hope and faith are linked together)
- When we live according to the laws of the Kingdom then we are going to be hated by the world. This is why Paul is on trial.
v7 “Earnestly serve “- speaks of a behavior – they live lives of worship and prayer(Kingdom expectation)
- Paul is being accused of having this hope – something that should have been foundational to Judaism.
v8 This is the heart of the matter – resurrection is a foundational truth which is related to a Kingdom reality.
v9 We need to see the importance of testimony – including our own testimonies of what G-d has done in our lives. Testimony carries an anointing that has the power to touch people.
v10 Paul had completely agreed with these people but something happened to change his life and way of thinking. Inward transformation manifests itself outwardly.
v11 “Foreign cities” = places outside of Israel (eg Damascus)
v12 This is now the third time this story is being repeated in Acts. This was a pivotal moment in Paul’s life.
v13 Noon is the brightest time of the day. It is hard to see light in bright light. This was a supernatural light. G-d created light on day 1(Gen 1:3) but it was only on day 4 that He created the sun, moon and stars (Gen 1:14-16)
v14 “Goad” can also be translated “briar”. Kicking these would cause wounds and pain in the feet. Yeshua was telling Paul that he was going the wrong way and fighting the wrong battle.
v15 When a believer is persecuted for their faith Yeshua takes it personally and a day of retribution will come.
v16 Yeshua did not call Paul simply for the purpose of salvation (although that was part of it) but He called him for service (to participate with Him in His will and purposes)
v17 Yeshua warned Paul that he was going to be persecuted. You and I have the same calling that Paul received – to testify.
v18 Before people come to Yeshua they are a victim of the world. We need to be forgiving, compassionate and understanding toward these people. Our testimony to them and before them is extremely important.
- Sanctification is the process whereby we are made holy by the power of the Holy Spirit transforming our lives so that we are able to fulfil G-d’s purpose