In the year 59 A.D. in Caesarea, Judea, a new administration took over. The apostle Paul was given a hearing after the previous governor had kept him in jail for 2 years. In Acts 26:1, the new governor and visiting royal dignitaries told him he was free to, “Speak for yourself.”
After years of bad treatment and facing serious charges, most people would defend themselves or make charges against those who’d wronged them. Some might seek sympathy by telling how badly they’d been mistreated. Many of us like to tell our tales of woe—some of us live for such a chance.
But not Paul. He didn’t strive for sympathy or vindication—he lived for Christ. So he confidently told of his conversion, of seeing the risen Lord and how he had not ceased to preach him since.
The governor, like many secular people, thought it all nonsense and acknowledged that Paul seemed like a bright, but crazy, fellow. But the king recognized what Paul was doing — he was trying to convert them to Christ. “Nice try,” he says, “you almost converted me.”
Paul agreed, saying, “I would to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains” (vs. 29). Like Paul, let us all clearly and boldly use our every opportunity to make people Christians, even if some think we’re crazy and other don’t believe.