When the apostle Paul was testifying before King Agrippa II in Acts 26, Festus interrupted Paul after he declared “that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:23 NIV).

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

Acts 26:24 (NIV)

Although Paul testified to Agrippa, Festus interrupted the testimony because he thought Paul was crazy. I find Paul’s response to Festus interesting.

“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

Acts 26:25-27 (NIV)

Paul’s question to Agrippa is interesting because it puts the spotlight, so to speak, on Agrippa. If Agrippa confessed that he believed the prophets, then that would mean believing in the Messiah and everything that had happened in the Old Testament. From Moses parting the sea to Elisha raising the dead, etc. Not to mention the Messiah who had come, according to Scripture. The same Messiah who died and rose from the dead as Paul testified.

In this light, Paul’s response to Festus, that what Paul had testified to was “true and reasonable,” makes sense. At least, it does to us, and I believe it did to Agrippa as well because he believed, and so do we. Agrippa’s response to Paul is telling.

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

Acts 26:28 (NIV)

In Acts 11:26, we are told, “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (NIV). This was around 42 AD, and this exchange between Paul and Agrippa was around 62 AD. A twenty-year period. 1 Peter was also written around 62 AD, and he wrote, “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16 NIV).

When Peter told people not to be ashamed about being Christians, it was because the term wasn’t a term of endearment. Thus, Agrippa’s application of the term was also not a term of endearment. When I think about why people didn’t like the Christians, what comes to mind is what Festus said to Paul. Paul was crazy.

If you go back and read Paul’s testimony in Acts 26:1-23, a lot is going on. Paul persecuted the Christians, then had a blinding vision from heaven, and talked to a dead man who told Paul he was to fight in a battle between the devil and God and bring salvation to the world. While this might sound like a good plot for a movie today, to claim that it had really happened sounded like crazy talk to Festus.

Paul tells us why Christians might sound crazy to people when we talk about faith in God and Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

People who don’t know Jesus have no access to the Holy Spirit. Because they have no access to the Spirit, the things we tell them might sound crazy. Yet, we shouldn’t let that stop us from telling people about Jesus. Instead, we should all consider what Paul told Agrippa when asked if Paul was trying to turn him into a Christian.

Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Acts 26:29 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.