Scripture: (Paul is speaking to Agrippa) “At midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me (in the Hebrew language), “Saul, Saul. Why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” And I said, “Who are you, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: To appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 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.”…
And as (Paul) was speaking these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”
But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.” Excerpts from Acts 26:13-25
Observation: Why is it that when something is learned about the Kingdom that often the response is “You are out of your mind!” Now, why is that?
Analysis: One of the values that writing in this journal setting, whether published on line or not, is that I can get my thoughts coherent.
After all, I can think Kingdom thoughts and they swoop and fly in magnificent circles of light—and then, when I try to speak them, they come out in gibberish, hardly understandable. And writing them? A great book is between my ears and nothing comes out of my fingers except a sentence or two of no great value.
In this section of scripture is the continuation of the historical record of Paul and the furthering of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit. Again, Paul recounts the Damascus Road experience, elaborating/expanding just a bit on the purpose that Jesus intends for Paul—micro-differences from the Acts 6 and the Acts 22 record but not inconsistent at all.
The time difference between Acts 9 and Acts 26, is almost 20 years (see Acts 11:26, Acts 18:11, and Gal 2:1-2)—20 years to construct and learn the Gospel as we know it today, so that Paul could accurately and concisely recount it to anybody he meets.
If Paul was accused as being out of his mind, what does it sound like when someone like me tries to present the Gospel after a couple of weeks? Shucks, it has been over 4 decades for me, and I am just now starting to get it straight so that it sounds like “true and rational words.”
After all, I am not trying to sell a new car. I am presenting Eternity to souls.
Prayer: Father, why is it so difficult to turn a conversation into You and your Ways? Even with a brother sitting across from me, to get the conversation into Your Ways felt like grinding gears in a car’s transmission. The Gospel can be like that; I guess because it is counter-cultural to all life affected by sin. Another reason why Ro 12:2 is so important, changing the way the present is perceived by the transformation of my mind, to prove what your will is. AMEN.