26 Agrippa told Paul, “You may now speak for yourself.”
Paul stretched out his hand and said:
2 King Agrippa, I am glad for this chance to defend myself before you today on all these charges that my own people have brought against me. 3 You know a lot about our religious customs and the beliefs that divide us. So I ask you to listen patiently to me.
4-5 All the Jews have known me since I was a child. They know what kind of life I have lived in my own country and in Jerusalem. And if they were willing, they could tell you that I was a Pharisee, a member of a group that is stricter than any other. 6 Now I am on trial because I believe the promise God made to our people long ago.
7 Day and night our twelve tribes have earnestly served God, waiting for his promised blessings. King Agrippa, because of this hope, the Jewish leaders have brought charges against me. 8 Why should any of you doubt that God raises the dead to life?
9 I once thought that I should do everything I could to oppose Jesus from Nazareth. 10 I did this first in Jerusalem, and with the authority of the chief priests I put many of God’s people in jail. I even voted for them to be killed. 11 I often had them punished in our meeting places, and I tried to make them give up their faith. In fact, I was so angry with them, that I went looking for them in foreign cities.
12 King Agrippa, one day I was on my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. 13 About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me. 14 We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It’s foolish to fight against me!”
15 “Who are you?” I asked.
Then the Lord answered, “I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. 16 Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later.”
17 The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. 18 I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God’s holy people.”