Paul makes his defence for the fifth and last time in Acts, on this occasion before King Agrippa. This is Herod Agrippa II, the son of Agrippa I who we met in chapter 12, and the great grandson of Herod the Great. He only ruled over several minor territories, but the Roman Emperor Claudius had given Herod rule over the temple in Jerusalem and the right to appoint the high priest. Paul’s defense speech is the longest yet and Luke sets the scene for us wonderfully.
1. What reason did Festus give for seeking the advice of King Agrippa (25:24-27)?
2. In Paul’s testimony he described three main phases of his life. What were they?
3. What was the ‘promise made by God to our fathers’ referred to by Paul, in 26:6-7? How did Paul understand that hope to have been fulfilled?
4. There are several Old Testament allusions in 26:15-18 that help to serve Paul’s purpose in his defence. (Read Ezek. 2:1-3; Jer. 1:7-8; Is. 42:6-7; Luke 4:18) What parallels do you see in these verses between Paul’s commissioning by Jesus and God’s call of his prophets in the OT?
5. What was especially significant about what Paul was commissioned to do? How did he further prove his point to King Agrippa (vv. 19-23)?
6. As we’ve seen previously in Acts, Paul spoke in a manner that related to his audience. What evidence is there in vv. 24-29 that he was not only speaking in his defence, but that he was trying to reach his accusers?
7. What double allegation lay behind all of these trials of Paul? What do we learn was the conclusion of the court in vv. 30-32?
8. Note the clear parallels between the experience of Jesus in Luke 23 and that of Paul here. What do you think is significant about them?
9. What relevance is all that we’ve seen in these last few chapters of Acts for us today?
10. In a sentence or two, summarize the main point (the ‘big idea’) of this passage.