ISSL Reflections June 30 2024 Acts 26:1–11 Post 3

In the final paragraph of this week’s focus passage, Paul recounts some of his actions toward the followers of Jesus.

Pay attention to what he reports he did and think about what the impact might have been?

Acts 26:1-11 (NRSVue)

Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and began to defend himself:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, because you are especially familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews; therefore I beg of you to listen to me patiently.

“All the Jews know my way of life from my youth, a life spent from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I have belonged to the strictest sect of our religion and lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, Your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

“Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme, and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.”

What might have been the impact on the followers of Jesus in the actions Paul mentions?

How might these actions have impacted him? For the better or for the worse?

He said he was “furiously enraged by them.” How does one get past such hostility? Does one? Did Paul?

How have you had occasion to move beyond hostility toward others? Maybe acceptance or even some level of caring?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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