Then Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:…
I. THIS INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES OF UNUSUAL MAGNIFICENCE (Acts 25:23). All the majesty and splendour of the Roman provincial government were collected on the occasion. On the other hand, the apostle was a prisoner, and certainly the very last man with whom any then present would have wished to change places. But now who is there that would not rather have been Paul, than either Agrippa, or Festus, or any of their train?
II. WHEN THE APOSTLE HAS LEAVE GIVEN HIM TO SPEAK, purely in self-defence, HE CONDUCTS THAT DEFENCE SO AS TO EXPOUND "THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS." This was the case with all the primitive disciples. They taught in synagogues and in the markets, if men would let them; but, if they dragged them before magistrates, they turned the courts of law into preaching places, and instead of pleading for themselves, pleaded for their Master.
III. THE ENERGY AND ZEAL THAT DISTINGUISHED HIS ADDRESS. This was so eminent that the governor broke in upon him with a rude and unceremonious interruption (ver. 24).
IV. THE DIGNITY, WISDOM, AND ENERGY OF PAUL'S REPLY, which of itself is not only a complete refutation of the charge of madness, but a full vindication of religion in that respect, both as to its doctrine and its spirit. It is not easy for a man who is noisily interrupted to retain his self-possession, much less to take advantage of it, so as to increase the power and impressiveness of their discourse.
V. HIS APPEAL TO AGRIPPA (vers. 26, 27). Every competent judge of eloquence will admit that this is one of the finest apostrophes that ever proceeded from the lips of man. It takes advantage of the common opinion of the Roman people, that the best defence that an accused person could make was to appeal to the knowledge and conscience of his judge. How much more of this sort the apostle might have uttered, it is impossible to say; but Agrippa had already heard more than enough. He interrupted the apostle, and then left him abruptly. Little as Agrippa thought it, that day was for him one of those critical seasons which occur to some men but once, to others often, on which hinges the dreadful alternative, whether a man shall be saved or lost.
VI. THREE DEGREES OF CONDITION IN RELATION TO CHRISTIANITY. Here is —
1. The Christian altogether.
2. The man who is a Christian almost.
3. The man who is a Christian not at all.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: