Click Here to learn more about Paul and Agrippa at Caesarea Maritima with an Israel Experience 360 Seminar.

Caesarea Maritima - LegacyFun Fact: The famous theologian, Origen, lived in Caesarea for a good portion of his life and it’s been said that his famous work Hexapla was written there.

We cannot talk about Caesarea Maritima without talking about Paul. Acts 23:23-26 describes in detail Paul’s elegant testimony before Felix, Festus, and Herod Agrippa. This testimony is central to the Christian faith. Had Paul never experienced Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul would still be Saul and still persecuting the Christ-followers. But that is not our reality. Instead, Luke records in Acts 9 that Jesus stopped Saul and said these words, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me.”

I remember reading this words a few years ago and though I had read them probably a hundred times, it felt as if I read it for the first time and I teared up. First, Jesus chooses to use a man that hated him. In fact, hate may be a watered down version in view of Saul’s vicious and unrelenting persecution.

Jesus stops Saul from doing any more harm and asks why Saul is persecuting Him. This is the second and most important piece: Jesus doesn’t ask, “Why are you persecuting Christians?” or “Why are you persecuting the Church?” Rather, Jesus asks, “Why are you persecuting me?” Jesus is so connected and intertwined with the Church that when you hurt Christ-followers, you are also hurting Christ himself. Like a loving husband who sees his wife in agony at the hand of another man, so Jesus steps in and says, “What you do to them, you also do to me.”

Saul’s life was forever changed and the course of history was rewritten. This once hateful man, now named Paul, stands before some of the most powerful people in Judea and, instead of pleading for his life, attempts to convert them with his testimony. By the end, Agrippa says, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul had completed his mission at Caesarea. But what was that mission?

Agrippa mentioned in Acts 25-26 is Herod Agrippa II. He was the last of the Herod Dynasty to rule. His great-grandfather was Herod the Great (read more about him here). This means that four generations of Herod’s reigned from the time of Jesus’ birth until Herod Agrippa II. Herod was given the title of King of the Jews, however, it would never truly be accepted by the Jews. In all four generations, the Herod’s had the opportunity to get on board with what Jesus was doing. Instead, they tried to kill him and diminish his work following his resurrection. Jesus was the true King and his kingdom has lasted 1900 years past the Herod Dynasty.

I believe this encounter was part of Paul’s mission from God to once again remind Herod who is the true King. Nevertheless, in line with all of his family, Agrippa II chose to assert himself as King and mocked Paul that he could try to convince him in such a short time. Herod Agrippa II may have done great things in view of Rome and the people of Judea, but what do those mean in view of history? Like his great-grandfather Herod the Great, Agrippa II leaves another legacy that drives God out and brings Rome in. What kind of legacy will you leave behind?

Verses to pray about today: 

Acts 26:14: “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?”

Acts 26:28-29: Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Click Here to learn more about Paul and Agrippa at Caesarea Maritima with an Israel Experience 360 Seminar.

Fun Fact: The famous theologian, Origen, lived in Caesarea for a good portion of his life and it’s been said that his famous work Hexapla was written there.

We cannot talk about Caesarea Maritima without talking about Paul. Acts 23:23-26 describes in detail Paul’s elegant testimony before Felix, Festus, and Herod Agrippa. This testimony is central to the Christian faith. Had Paul never experienced Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul would still be Saul and still persecuting the Christ-followers. But that is not our reality. Instead, Luke records in Acts 9 that Jesus stopped Saul and said these words, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me.”

I remember reading this words a few years ago and though I had read them probably a hundred times, it felt as if I read it for the first time and I teared up. First, Jesus chooses to use a man that hated him. In fact, hate may be a watered down version in view of Saul’s vicious and unrelenting persecution.

Jesus stops Saul from doing any more harm and asks why Saul is persecuting Him. This is the second and most important piece: Jesus doesn’t ask, “Why are you persecuting Christians?” or “Why are you persecuting the Church?” Rather, Jesus asks, “Why are you persecuting me?” Jesus is so connected and intertwined with the Church that when you hurt Christ-followers, you are also hurting Christ himself. Like a loving husband who sees his wife in agony at the hand of another man, so Jesus steps in and says, “What you do to them, you also do to me.”

Saul’s life was forever changed and the course of history was rewritten. This once hateful man, now named Paul, stands before some of the most powerful people in Judea and, instead of pleading for his life, attempts to convert them with his testimony. By the end, Agrippa says, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul had completed his mission at Caesarea. But what was that mission?

Agrippa mentioned in Acts 25-26 is Herod Agrippa II. He was the last of the Herod Dynasty to rule. His great-grandfather was Herod the Great (read more about him here). This means that four generations of Herod’s reigned from the time of Jesus’ birth until Herod Agrippa II. Herod was given the title of King of the Jews, however, it would never truly be accepted by the Jews. In all four generations, the Herod’s had the opportunity to get on board with what Jesus was doing. Instead, they tried to kill him and diminish his work following his resurrection. Jesus was the true King and his kingdom has lasted 1900 years past the Herod Dynasty.

I believe this encounter was part of Paul’s mission from God to once again remind Herod who is the true King. Nevertheless, in line with all of his family, Agrippa II chose to assert himself as King and mocked Paul that he could try to convince him in such a short time. Herod Agrippa II may have done great things in view of Rome and the people of Judea, but what do those mean in view of history? Like his great-grandfather Herod the Great, Agrippa II leaves another legacy that drives God out and brings Rome in. What kind of legacy will you leave behind?

Verses to pray about today: 

Acts 26:14: “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?”

Acts 26:28-29: Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

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