Paul talked to the big bosses
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “All right, you can talk to us now and tell us your story.”
So Paul waved his hand to thank Agrippa, and he started to tell them why he was not guilty. He said, 2-3 “Big Boss Agrippa, I reckon I’m lucky. You know all about the culture of us Jews, and you know the things we argue about, and today you are hearing me talk. I reckon you will understand me. You see, the Jewish leaders are blaming me for a lot of things. So I ask you, please wait and listen to me now.”
Paul said that he used to be a Pharisee man
Then Paul said, “A lot of Jewish people know the way I lived from the time I was a young man. They know the way I lived in my home country, and also in Jerusalem. They know that I joined the Pharisee mob, and I kept our law properly, like all the Pharisee mob do. Those Jews that are blaming me, they know this, and they can tell you this about me if they want to.*
6-7 You see, boss, a long time ago, God promised our grand-fathers that he will do something real good for us Jews. And I reckon God does everything that he says he will do. All of us Jews, in all of our 12 tribes, we are all waiting for God to do the good thing that he promised, and we show respect to him all the time. We all reckon he will do it. But now those Jewish leaders are blaming me for believing that God is doing it. You see, God can make dead people alive again. So why can’t any of you people here believe that?”
Paul said that he used to hurt Christians
Paul kept on talking. He said, “You know, at one time I thought I had to stop people from following Jesus, the man from Nazareth. I did a lot of things to try to stop them. 10 I started in Jerusalem. I put a lot of Christians in jail. The bosses of the Jewish ceremonies told me to do that. And if they judged any of those Christians and said, ‘Kill them,’ I agreed with them, and I said that too. 11 I often punished the Christians that were in the Jewish meeting houses. I tried to get them to say bad things about Jesus.
I was so angry with Jesus’s followers that I even went to other towns to get them.”*
Paul said that he met Jesus
12 Paul kept on telling his story. He said, “The bosses of the Jewish ceremonies in Jerusalem said that I can go to Damascus to grab the Christians there, so I started to go to Damascus to look for the Christians. 13 And I’ll tell you what happened next, boss. In the middle of the day, while I was going along the road, I saw a bright light in the sky. It was even brighter than the sun. It shined all around me, and all around the men that were with me. 14 We all fell down on to the ground. Then I heard the voice of somebody talk to me in the Hebrew language. He said, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you making trouble for me and hurting me? You are hurting yourself too, you know.’
15 Then I asked, ‘Who are you, boss?’
And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus. You are making trouble for me and hurting me. Whenever you hurt my followers, you are hurting me too. 16 But stop doing that, and get up, and stand on your feet. Listen, I came to you like this to pick you to be my worker. I want you to tell everyone everywhere about the things you have seen, and tell them about the things that I will show you later. 17 Your own Jewish people will give you trouble, and people that are not Jews will give you trouble too. But I will look after you. You see, I will send you to other countries, to people that are not Jews, 18 and you will tell them the true message about me. It will be like you will open their eyes so that they can see things properly. They will come to God. Then Satan, the big boss over the bad spirits, he will not control them with his power any more. It is like they are always in the dark now, but they will come into the light. They will believe in me, and they will stop believing lies. And then God will say they are not guilty of the bad things they did, and they will be God’s people.’ Jesus said that to me.”
Paul said that he did everything Jesus told him to do
19 Paul kept on talking to them. He said, “It happened like that, Big Boss Agrippa. Jesus talked to me from heaven, and I did everything he told me to do. 20 I told a lot of people to stop doing bad things and turn to God, and to start doing good things to show that they are following God now. At first I told that message to the Jews in Damascus, then I told it to the Jews in Jerusalem, and I told it to the Jews in Judea country. After that, I told it to people that are not Jews.”*
Paul’s message is the same as the message in God’s book
21 And Paul said, “I told everyone this message, but some of the Jewish people didn’t like it, so they grabbed me, and they tried to kill me. They did that in God’s ceremony house.
22 But God helped me. You see, God helps me all the time, and he is still helping me now. So I’m standing here now, and I’m telling you mob that Jesus is the special man that God promised to send to us, the man that is called the Christ. I’m telling this message to you big bosses, and I’m telling it to all you other people too. This message is already in God’s book. I’m only saying things that Moses wrote about a long time ago. God’s other men wrote about these things too. 23 They said that people will hurt God’s special man, and kill him, but then God will make him alive again. They said that he will be the first person to come alive again after being dead, and that’s how he will show everyone that God can save them. He will be like a light for everyone, for both Jewish people, and for people that are not Jews.”*
Paul wanted them all to become Christians
24 While Paul was talking, Festus suddenly shouted, “Paul, you are mad. You have been reading and learning too much, and it made you go mad.”
25 But Paul said, “No, Festus, sir, I’m not mad. I’m talking in a true and sensible way. 26 The other big boss here knows about these things, so I can talk to him, and I know he will understand. You see, people everywhere have heard about Jesus.”
27 Then Paul said, “Boss Agrippa, do you believe the message God’s men wrote in his book? Yes, I reckon you do believe it.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have just been talking to me for a little while. You cant get me to become a Christian so quick.”
29 Paul said, “It doesn’t matter if it is quick, or if it takes a long time. I’m asking God that you, and everyone here that is listening to me, will become just like I am now. I want you to become Christians. But I don’t want anyone to put you in jail for being a Christian, like they did to me.”
Agrippa said that Paul has to go to Rome
30 Then those 2 big bosses stood up, and Bernice, and all the others there, they all got up too, 31 and they all went out of that big room. While they were going out, they said to each other, “This man didn’t do anything bad. We don’t have to kill him, or even keep him in jail.”
32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “But you cant let him go free, because he asked you to send him to Rome, so that our biggest boss can judge him there. So you have to send him to Caesar.”
* 26:5 Acts 23:6; Philippians 3:5 * 26:11 Acts 8:3; 22:4-5 * 26:20 Acts 9:20, 28-29 * 26:23 Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 1 Corinthians 15:20