Remember what Jesus said at the beginning of the book of Acts – right before ascending to heaven? “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). That’s exactly what Paul is doing here. He is a witness, giving testimony to the power of God as seen through his own changed life.
Even before the beginning of time, God has been telling His story. He continues to write His story today in and through the lives of the people who call Him “Lord.” He is telling the greatest story of all through the lives of His people, weaving them into an epic work of art. And although “witnessing” has gotten a bad rap in recent history, all of us as Christ’s followers are witnesses, giving testimony to His grace, power, and peace. We do that with our actions, but we also do that with what we say. Paul demonstrates this in front of Felix and Agrippa.
I once heard it said that once you encounter the Living God, your life will never be the same. You are changed forever. That was certainly true about Jacob. He wrestled with an angel of the Lord (some argue it was God Himself) and left with a limp and a new name. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush, he left with a commission to lead God’s people out of bondage. And don’t get me started on the people who saw Jesus face to face. Even touching his cloak led to healing! When Paul came face to face with the risen Jesus, his life was changed forever. From that point forward, Paul couldn’t stop talking about how Jesus had changed him. And so when the opportunity presents itself with Felix and Agrippa, it’s no surprise that he begins at the beginning and shares how his life had changed. With Paul’s life essentially hanging in the balance, he pointed to Jesus.
Of course, this leads me to wonder, what am I doing to point to Jesus? Although I’m not on trial for anything, I still have an opportunity to point to Jesus with my words, actions, and attitude. Everything I say and do should reflect Him. Every day, I’m telling a story. Although I never breathed murderous threats against the church and approvingly stood by while a believer was stoned to death before knowing Jesus, my story is still a dramatic one. I, too, was once a sinner who has been saved by grace. I, too, deserved the death penalty because of my sinfulness. But I have been reclaimed for His glory.
Whose story am I telling? Is it mine? Or am I allowing the Author of all things to use me to tell His story to a dying world who desperately needs Him?
So – what’s your story? How are you pointing to Jesus today?