Paul to King Agrippa in Rome:
Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? – Acts 26:8
I love the character of Paul in the 1st century. He was bold yet humble. He walked the talk. He didn’t waiver, not once. He knew his job, and he wasn’t afraid to change when he first found out he was wrong on that fateful road to Damascus.
“Saul, Saul, Why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
So I said, Who are you, Lord, and He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” – Acts 26:14-15.
What a strange thing for Jesus to say.. It is hard for you to kick against the goads. I had to look at this statement a little further. An ox goad is a stick with a point of iron on its tip, which is used to guide the animals. Sometimes the animals would rebel and try to kick the goad, which would result in it being driven further into their flesh. In other words, it is harder on us when we rebel, and useless.
I love to read just about anything, and the book of Acts is one of the most fascinating, exciting, and historical books I have read. Luke the physician, the author of Acts, follows Paul around Rome, Ephesus, Jerusalem and the world, and intellectually records many of his travels. It is equivalent to our modern day interview. And Paul, like Jesus’ words, is succinct and to the point, to the heart of the matter.
As the imprisoned Paul states his case at his trial, the governor Festus says with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” – Acts 26:24. Dr. Luke captures this both humorous and personal detail. Then Paul goes on to quite eloquently tell his story. At the end, Agrippa says to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” – Acts 26:28. How is that for a last quote?