Acts Week 26 – “Chains Around Your Neck”
In Acts 26, Paul is called to present his case, his testimony, before two officials: the newly-appointed Roman governor Festus and the Jewish King Agrippa (along with his sister, Bernice). The reactions to the gospel of these three powerful people—and the reaction of the Jews to Paul’s message—are good examples of three ways that people often respond to the gospel: with fear, spiritual numbness, or a lukewarm malaise. Though Paul stands before them in literal chains, his accusers and judges all wear unseen chains, their own ambitions and the expectations of others among them. These “chains” limit their spiritual responses as surely as Paul’s shackles curb his physical movements.