from Lynda Lindsey
Festus to Paul: Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind. Acts 26:24 Paul replies to Festus: I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. Acts 26:25
Paul’s mission statement as received from God: To appoint you as a servant and witness… delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles——to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. Acts 26:16(b)-18
Paul’s obedience to God: …and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. Acts 26:20(b)
Paul, never one to shrink back, knowing only that the Holy Spirit had testified to him in every city that imprisonment and afflictions awaited him, didn’t account his life of any value if only he might finish his course and the ministry he had been given by Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Paul was single minded, passionate, driven, and willing to suffer, and even die, for the cause of Christ. Paul’s passionate, driving force was to obediently proclaim God’s gospel; Paul was prepared at any time and at any place to give an account of the hope that was in him.
People who are passionate about a cause seem to burn from within with energy and zeal, willingly investing time, energy, and emotion to further that cause; they may be accused of being crazy or mad by people who don’t share that same degree of commitment. Festus, after listening to Paul’s defense, accused Paul of being mad, crazy, out of his mind. Paul, undeterred, assured his accuser that he was anything but crazy. The words Paul spoke, the words of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, are true and rational. So true and rational that Paul invited King Agrippa to have faith in Christ!
Paul appealed to Agrippa, “Do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” If Agrippa, a Jew, confessed belief in the prophets who had testified to Messiah’s coming, sound arguments could lead Agrippa to faith in Christ. Paul, true to his mission, gave opportunity for his hearers to have their eyes opened, to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and be sanctified by faith in Christ. Paul, ever obedient to God, desired all to repent and turn to God. May we share Paul’s passion to speak words of truth and life.