Acts 25:23 So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in.
So, in comes Agrippa and Bernice (the most unexpected name to ever come after a name like Agrippa). Anywhoo … they’re coming in and they don’t want to be mistaken for just anybody, so they are all decked out in royal robes and adorned in jewels and gold and the horns are trumpeting and their posse of commanders and prominent people are with them. Depending on the translation you are using, it was a full on two sentence, twenty-eight word entrance. And then there was Paul. His entrance was a humble four word, half sentence entrance. It didn’t even merit an adjective.
What a great illustration of what God sees as important verses what the world sees as important. Paul, the man God used to write much of the New Testament and take the Gospel to nations, kings, and the sons of Israel. The chosen instrument of the King of the Universe entered the room in silence and stood in humility before those who declared themselves to be important … those whom the world called important.
Bernice was the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, making her the sister of Agrippa II. The two were having an incestuous relationship. It is before this brother/sister/husband/wife couple that we find the apostle Paul making his defense once again at Caesarea. Paul, no doubt, knew of their unrighteous relationship, it was no great secret … and even as Agrippa and Bernice came in with great pageantry, and Paul was brought in chains, we find in chapter 26 that Paul tells Agrippa that he considers himself fortunate to be able to make his case before him.
If you desire to get to where God wants you to go, humble yourself. Paul could have been resentful of the situation, after all, Agrippa had no jurisdiction in this case, no business getting involved. Paul had already appeared before the governor, Felix, who found no offense worthy of prosecution, yet kept Paul incarcerated for two years. Now, the new governor, Festus, had heard the case and the accusations of the Jewish leadership and found no offense worthy of prosecution. Paul even appealed his case to Caesar which was his right as a Roman Citizen, and Festus had agreed, but now he was being asked to go through it all again for Agrippa. It must have been quite exasperating, yet Paul was willing to humble himself. Paul saw this as another opportunity to share his testimony, share the gospel and glorify Jesus, this time to Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus.
Don’t let opportunities slip by, but commit yourself to recognizing and taking every opportunity that God sets before you. Each day we are confronted with opportunities to either invest in this world or the one to come. We make choices of where we will place our eyes or focus our efforts. What choices will you make? Commit yourself to a decision now, because it is a choice you will have to make over and over again. Paul was a master at recognizing and seizing on opportunities, often at the expense of his own comfort, and that’s the very essence of getting where God wants you to go … the path is paved with opportunities to Glorify the Lord. Seize one opportunity after the next and you’ll find you are headed where God wants you to go.