“You are out of your mind, Paul!” Acts 26:24
That was the response of Festus, the Roman Governor of Judea, after Paul’s impassioned and eloquent speech to King Agrippa.
Paul amazes me in his ability to thoughtfully, logically, and compassionately present the arguments for who Jesus is. Equally amazing is that he is willing to do so at great personal cost: his loss of freedom and complete humiliation. I’m fine with presenting Christ in comfortable surroundings, to “friendly” listeners. But I live in fear of being ridiculed. Despite his credentials, Paul believed it was a worthwhile trade to be persecuted and thought the fool in the off chance that someone in his audience might respond to the truth of Jesus Christ.
King Agrippa mocks him, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul responds with love, “Short time or long–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:28-29)
Am I willing to be persecuted to spread the word of God? Am I willing to risk being thought the fool to let people know about the source of the hope that is in me?
Grant me boldness to proclaim your name even if it means I will be persecuted. Give me the eloquence to make convincing arguments and, yet, the humility to accept that sometimes I will still look like a fool. Amen.