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Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 26

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

Acts 26:1

The Previous part of this outline found at Acts 25:23

Acts 26:1 This gave Paul a free an open sea to set sail and direct his course. He wants to win this young King if he can.

1) Notice How Paul Begins. He is courteous.

Acts 26:2-3 Paul is happy to be permitted to speak to a Herod.

a) Especially because he knew Agrippa an expert in Jewish matters. v.3

Agrippa was not dull and ignorant like Festus beside him.

b) Agrippa must have been pleased. This partly bridges the gap.

c) But how will Paul open his message?

2) Acts 26:4-7 A Masterpiece Presentation of the Gospel

a) Acts 26:8 After introducing the subject of the resurrection, we can see Paul looking around at the others there, "The King and I believe it!"

b) Why tell King Agrippa he was a Pharisee and always believed in the realm of the dead? Paul continues to close the gap between himself and the young king. "King Agrippa, you and I stand together against this audience!"

3) Acts 26:9-11

a) Why tell Agrippa about his wickedness?

Agrippa says to himself, "Well this man was once one of us! Once on the side of my father and uncle, and grandfather. He persecuted as bitterly and bloodily as we did!"

b) Another point of contact with the king! Drawing them closer together.

c) Paul intended to raise questions in the mind of Agrippa, "What made this man Paul change? If he once stood with us, what made him turn?"

4) Paul then answers these questions in King Agrippa’s mind. Acts 26:12-19

a) "Paul, if God appeared to you, you must not be disobedient."

b) If this is true, than our family has been mistaken, you had a good cause for changing -- and I wonder if we ought not to change too?

5) A few more remarks to Agrippa - Acts 26:22-23

"I’m preaching only what Moses and the prophets said would come to pass.

a) "Agrippa, we believe in the resurrection. It has to start someplace - and it started with Christ and through Him God shows that He will raise all men."

b) In talking about the resurrection Festus interrupts; not a single ray of light had penetrated his dark mind Acts 26:24 - strange - he was intelligent and educated but thought he was listening to a mad man.

c. Paul’s answer Acts 26:25-26 "Don’t think Festus because you are ignorant of it, don’t think it was done in a corner. The King knows about it!"

d) And Agrippa did know! He had heard about Jesus and his followers all his life. But all he had heard had been from the wrong side. Now he hears the truth -- the full truth -- and here is why Paul changed.

The truth of Jesus’ resurrection!

Truth has a ring to it! And Agrippa believed it.

6) Paul could see the effect on Agrippa.

"This man is almost in the arms of Christ! Oh, if I can win this soul for the Lord."

a) Paul changes to a personal, direct appeal - Acts 26:27

b) "You believe the prophets -- you see that they have pointed to Christ!" ( see Acts 26:22 )

c) Paul’s appeal and he asks a question - now he waits for an answer -- Acts 26:28

Upon hearing Agrippa’s answer how Paul’s heart must have sank -- so close, so near the kingdom -- "Almost persuaded.."

But almost cannot prevail -- "Almost" is but to fail,

Sad, sad, that bitter wail, "Almost," but lost.

Acts 26:29

7) Acts 26:30 All arise and leave the hearing. We can imagine Paul left with the guard.

Paul is led sadly back to his cell in his bonds. How Paul’s heart is grieving within him.

a) Profoundly moved -- Agrippa leaves. Acts 26:30

b) Outside Agrippa and Festus speak to one another. Perhaps he did not feel like it at first. It seems to have been a sober atmosphere.

c) Paul’s sincerity was felt by all the chief captains, and principle men of the city. Acts 26:31. There was an air of honestly, earnestness, and truthfulness in the words from the lips of Paul.

d) Finally Aprigga at last speaks - Acts 26:32 -- And this from the lips of a Herod!

e) It was as much as to say - "Father did wrong ... our family has been on the wrong side."

f) That near did the gospel come to saving Agrippa!

1) All he needed to do ... perhaps rise to is feet, "Paul you are right ... I believe that God raised Jesus from the grave. I repent of the crimes my family have been involved in. I take my stand with you and the gospel. I’ll support you and defend you you the days of my life. I will commit to following Jesus and obeying his commands -- I want to be baptized in the likeness of his death, burial, and resurrection and be forgiven of my sins."

2) Oh, how the name of Agrippa would be honored among us. No doubt more so than Lydia, the Philippian jailor, Cornelius, or the Ethiopian treasurer. How different his name would have passed down into history.

3) But more importantly, how different he himself would have passed into eternity!


1) Oh, you who are so near -- how different your sad end could be, if you will trust in the grace and mercy of God.

2) Will you become a Christian, and put Christ on in obedience to the Gospel.

Verse 9

Acts 26:9


Paul was- Acts 23:1 & Acts 26:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:12-16, Acts 7:58-60 & Acts 8:1.

Cornelius was--- Acts 10:1-2 & Acts 11:13-14.

See also Proverbs 14:12, Luke 16:15, Isaiah 55:8-9.

Verse 14

Acts 26:14

Saying in Hebrew -- From the information given in Acts 9:7; Acts 22:9 and Acts 26:14 it appears that the men with Saul saw the light and hear someone speaking but did not understand it apparently because the Lord was speaking in Hebrew to Saul.

Verse 16

Acts 26:16

Some Various Comings of Christ

*1 Emmanuel, Matthew 1:23; John 1:14; John 6:38; Galatians 4:4 This was the coming of the Lord in the flesh, his birth at Bethlehem.

2 Pentecost, Matthew 16:28 (Mark 9:1) Mark 14:62, Matthew 26:64 In some significant way it could be said that Christ also came on Pentecost representatively when he sent his promise of the Holy Spirit.

3 To Paul at His Conversion __ Acts 26:16, Acts 22:7-9 ; 1 Corinthians 15:8 The Lord came to Paul so he could see him alive after his crucifixion and thus qualify him to be an apostle.

4 In Visions -- To Paul at Jerusalem, Acts 22:17-18 (after conversion); At Corinth, Acts 18:9; again at Jerusalem, Acts 23:11

5 AD 70, His coming in judgment upon the Jews for their rejection. Matthew 24:27, Matthew 24:30, Matthew 24:44, Matthew 24:39; Mark 13:26-30; Luke 21:20-27; Hebrews 10:37; James 5:8

This brought an end to their nation, the temple, the physical priesthood coming from Levi, the end of animal sacrifices, etc. ("Last days"[of the Jewish dispensation] plural)

*6 The Resurrection Day (His Second Coming, -- Cf. "Last Day" singular) 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ff to 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 ff; John 14:1-3;

John 5:28; John 11:24; John 6:39; John 6:40; John 6:44;

Verse 28

Acts 26:28

Christian -- see notes at Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Acts 26". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/acts-26.html. 2021.
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