“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.”
Our daughter Jessica is one of the kindest people I know, and I’m not saying that because I’m her father or because of her Autism. I can confidently state this because she proves it to us time and time again. If she has something and you ask her for some (such as popcorn or something similar), she will share it without hesitation. Many times she will even ask if you would like something she has without you prompting her. Her unselfishness is amazing. She wants others to have what she has.
In Acts 26 we read the incredibly detailed account of Paul being brought before King Agrippa. Agrippa was a real supporter of the Jews, and it was the Jewish leaders that spearheaded Paul’s arrest and imprisonment. Paul was in a serious spot. As we read through this chapter, Paul makes a very eloquent argument to King Agrippa. He starts out by building some common ground between himself and the King by talking of his time as a Pharisee and the Jewish customs he followed so perfectly. He even talks about his persecution of Christians. However, it becomes quickly clear that Paul isn’t trying to save his own skin by pulling punches. He clearly talks about his experience on the road to Damascus and hearing the audible voice of God. He goes on to speak openly that the prophecy of the Messiah was indeed fulfilled for all of the Jews to clearly see.
It is in verse 29 when Paul makes the amazing statement that must have deeply struck those present in the room that day. “Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you (King Agrippa) but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” He was openly saying he wanted everyone to have what he had. Paul was so overjoyed and transformed by the regeneration that took place in his life that in front of a hostile audience he openly shared his faith without hesitation and with no reservations.
How about us? We are not in chains. We won’t be imprisoned for our faith. Should we not share with the same boldness as Paul demonstrated with King Agrippa? Or, maybe I should ask us all the question: “Do we want everyone to have what we have?”