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Acts 26:23 & meaning...


must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.

Acts 26:23


Acts 26 [19.] “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple, and tried to kill me. Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen, how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.

Acts 26 [24.] As he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Acts 26 [25.] But he said, “I am not crazy, most excellent Festus, but boldly declare words of truth and reasonableness. For the king knows of these things, to whom also I speak freely. For I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”


In this verse, the apostle Paul recounts his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. He summarizes the core elements of the Christian message, emphasizing the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and the source of salvation for both Jews and Gentiles.

First, Paul declares that the Christ (Messiah) must suffer. This statement reflects the profound truth of Jesus' redemptive mission, as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus' suffering and death on the cross were necessary to atone for the sins of humanity and to reconcile us to God.

Second, Paul affirms that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead. This proclamation of Jesus' resurrection is central to the Christian faith, demonstrating His victory over sin and death and His power to grant eternal life to all who believe in Him. The resurrection validates Jesus' identity as the Son of God and confirms the truth of His teachings.

Finally, Paul declares that Jesus' resurrection proclaims light to both the Jewish people and the Gentiles. This highlights the universal scope of God's salvation plan, which includes people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, the barrier between Jew and Gentile is broken down, and all are invited to partake in the blessings of salvation.

The significance of Acts 26:23 is further underscored by its echo of Old Testament prophecies that anticipated the suffering and resurrection of the Messiah. One such prophecy is found in Isaiah 53:11, which states, "Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities."

Another cross-reference that enhances our understanding of Acts 26:23 is found in Isaiah 49:6, where God declares to His servant, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." This passage foreshadows the inclusion of the Gentiles in God's salvation plan through the work of the Messiah.

As we reflect on Acts 26:23, we are reminded of the foundational truths of the Christian faith and the universal scope of God's redemptive plan. It challenges us to embrace the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and to share the light of the gospel with all people, Jew and Gentile alike. May we, like Paul, proclaim the hope of resurrection and eternal life found in Jesus Christ, and may many come to know Him as their Lord and Savior.

In conclusion, Acts 26:23 encapsulates the essence of the Christian faith, emphasizing the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the source of salvation for all people. It underscores the universal scope of God's redemptive plan and calls us to share the message of hope and reconciliation with the world. As we meditate on this verse, may we be inspired to live out our faith boldly and to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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