A KING HEARS PAUL’S STORY

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[Acts:26:1-32].

Lesson No.: 
144
Class: 
Elementary
Memory Verse: 

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel” (Romans 1:16).

Notes: 

Jesus Promised
Our friend Paul is now in prison. We know he loves Jesus with all his heart. Paul has worked for Jesus ever since the day Jesus spoke to him as the bright light shone around Paul on the road to Damascus.

Paul reads the Bible often, and thinks of the day a long, long time ago when Moses stood before the great multitude of the of the Children of Israel out in the wilderness just before they cross Jordan. Let us imagine we were there. Perhaps Moses climbed up a little way on the side of a mountain so his voice would carry out loud and clear to all the people. No doubt the people were talking among themselves, some of the babies were crying, and dogs were running and barking; but when the people saw that Moses was ready to speak, they were very quiet.

The Jordan River was close by, and they were going to cross over into Canaan land in a few days. Moses wanted to tell them again of the Ten Commandments God had given, and how God wanted His people to live. They were not to be friends with the heathen people who bowed down to idols. They were to be kind. If their neighbours were poor, they were to give them some of their own food to eat, and some of their clothes to wear.

The children had to be quiet as Moses spoke, because it was very important to hear what God wanted the people to do. Moses told them many good things. Then he said Jesus was coming. He did not know Jesus’ name but he knew that some day God would send a wonderful Man to the earth to save people from their sins and show them the way to Heaven. The Prophet Isaiah said this Wonderful One was coming, and that He would suffer pain and sorrow because people had been naughty and wanted to have their own way.

Jesus Comes
Paul thinks, too, about the day Jesus did come. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. He was a good, obedient boy as He grew up in His home and in His father’s carpenter shop in Nazareth. One day when He was a young man He went to a wedding with His mother. Perhaps the bride or the groom was Jesus’ cousin, or a dear friend. There were many people there, and as they were eating they ran out of grape juice. Jesus made grape juice for them out of water.

From that time on, Jesus did many wonderful things. He healed sick and lame people. He healed the ten lepers, the man in the Temple with the crippled hand, the man by the pool of Bethesda who had been lame for 38 years and many others. Jesus even caused dead people to come back to life. We have read about the little 12-years-old girl who was so sick she died before Jesus came to her home, the dead son of the widow who lived in the little town of Nain, and Lazarus, who had been in the grave four days. Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fishes; and one stormy night on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and the wind quit blowing.

Many people followed Jesus, and some wanted Him to be their king then.

Jesus’ Enemies
Paul knew that the chief priests and elders did not like to see so many people follow Jesus. They wanted to be great men themselves, but they could not do the wonderful things that Jesus did, so they thought they would just get rid of Him. They caused Him to be nailed to the cross, and He died.

Three days afterward, Jesus’ friends said that Jesus was alive again -– He had risen from the grave. This made the chief priests and elders angry, because they did not want Jesus to be alive. They tried to hurt Jesus’ friends. Then Paul came one day and told them Jesus was truly alive. He knew it because he had seen Jesus. Paul said that Jesus was the One whom Moses and Isaiah and the other prophets had said God would send to save them.

The chief priests and elders were angry with Paul, too, when he said that, and they wanted to get rid of him. He was taken to the jail in Cæsarea. After Paul had been a prisoner for two years, some important visitors came to town – King Agrippa and his sister Bernice.

King Agrippa Listens
King Agrippa wanted to hear what Paul had to say, so Paul is going to come before him. Let us imagine we are there, with many others who have come to listen. Everybody is watching the door, and soon King Agrippa comes in, perhaps dressed in a long purple robe. Festus, the governor, follows him; then Agrippa’s sister, Bernice. They sit down at one end of the room, and Festus sends for Paul.

Perhaps we hear the clink of chains as Paul comes into the room -– he is chained to a soldier. No doubt he feels that Jesus is walking with him, just as we feel sometimes, and remembers the night Jesus stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul.”

Paul Speaks
When it is Paul’s turn to speak, he stretches out his hand as he says, “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day.” Paul had worked for Jesus for a long time, but he was not tired of telling about Jesus. He wanted others to believe in Jesus and love Him, too.

Paul tells the king that at one time he, too, had been mean to Christian people. But one day when he was on the road to Damascus to put Jesus’ friends and followers in jail and try to make them turn against Jesus, a bright light shone from Heaven -– even brighter than the noon-day-sun. Paul and everyone with him fell to the ground, and Jesus Himself spoke to Paul. Jesus told Paul he was to preach to the Gentiles, or heathen people, as well as to the Jews. Paul was to tell them all to repent, or stop all the bad things they were doing, and ask Jesus to save them, and then to sanctify them, so they could go to Heaven with all good, holy people.

King Agrippa Turns Away
Paul reminds the king that Moses and the prophets had said that Jesus would come, that He would rise from the dead, and that the good news would be preached to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. King Agrippa was a Jew and had read the Bible. He knew Paul was right, and he himself was almost ready to believe in Jesus, and love and worship Him. But King Agrippa was not ready to give up his own ways and do what he knew was right.

Obedient and Happy
How happy it makes each one of us to give up what we want to do so that we may be obedient and do what we know Jesus would like to have us do.

King Agrippa, Festus, Bernice, and all who were with them knew Paul was a good man, and that he should not be in jail. They decided to send him to Cæsar, another ruler even greater than King Agrippa, and maybe Cæsar would set Paul free.

Questions: 

1. Who was the king before whom Paul spoke? [Acts:26:1].
2. Why was Paul in jail at this time? [Acts:26:6].
3. What caused Paul to believe that Jesus arose from the dead? [Acts:26:13-15].
4. What did Paul tell people they should do to be saved? [Acts:26:20].
5. Did King Agrippa believe what Paul said about Jesus? [Acts:26:27-28].