The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings.” Daniel 2:47
Paul said, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:27-28 NKJV
Acts 26:28 in other translations King Agrippa comments on the brief time he has listened to Paul’s statements. Such as “And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’” Perhaps there is a specific length of time it takes to believe prophets and witnesses to the Gospel. Can people become a Christian quickly?
In Daniel, the king is so impressed with Daniel interpreting his dream, that he praises him. Daniel, of course, lets the king know that it is not he, Daniel, who has done this but the Lord. The king then declares that Daniel’s god must be the best god, one deserving of a high rank in the Babylonian pantheon. He didn’t need much time to decide this.
It is harder for King Agrippa – why doesn’t he just go along with Paul, and agree that this Christian message, this new sect of Judaism as he would see it, is correct? Agrippa does know the Hebrew prophets, and believes their messages. Paul’s words make sense to him. Yet, as the last King of the Jews, he has a problem. As one commentator notes “When Paul challenges Agrippa to believe in Jesus, he deflects. He is a king: the last king of the Jews. To confess belief in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and Son of God would be political disaster. Further, he's surrounded by Roman leaders who call Caesar son of the gods and likely don't believe in the physical resurrection of the dead.” (BibleRef.com)
Many people have similar issues – being a Christian and believing is not always convenient. We may be surrounded by those who ridicule Christian beliefs. Or by others who claim to be Christian, but don’t show it in their actions. There are days we believe strongly, and other days where doubts intrude. It would be hard to be as strong a witness as Paul is at his trial. We need to be thankful for all those who persisted in telling the story of Jesus, and His saving actions for all of us.
Gracious Lord, thank you for the stories that reveal your power; your witnesses open our ears and eyes. Lord, some days our faith is strong—some days we are only “almost persuaded.” Lord God, work to persuade us and those holding power in human affairs, that our true identity is found as creatures who are loved by you and who, in response, are serving you. Amen.