on Acts 26 :28
Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian - Εν ολιγῳ με πειθεις ΧριϚιανον γενεσθαι. This declaration was almost the necessary consequence of the apostle's reasoning, and Agrippa's faith. If he believed the prophets, see Acts 26:22, Acts 26:23, and believed that Paul's application of their words to Christ Jesus was correct, he must acknowledge the truth of the Christian religion; but he might choose whether he would embrace and confess this truth, or not. However, the sudden appeal to his religious faith extorts from him the declaration, Thou hast nearly persuaded me to embrace Christianity. How it could have entered into the mind of any man, who carefully considered the circumstances of the case, to suppose that these words of Agrippa are spoken ironically, is to me unaccountable. Every circumstance in the case proves them to have been the genuine effusion of a heart persuaded of the truth; and only prevented from fully acknowledging it by secular considerations.
on Acts 26 :28
Then Agrippa said unto Paul - He could not deny that he believed the prophecies in the Old Testament. He could not deny that the argument was a strong one that they had been fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. He could not deny that the evidence of the miraculous interposition of God in the conversion of Paul was overwhelming; and instead, therefore, of charging him, as Festus had done, with derangement, he candidly and honestly avows the impression which the proof had made on his mind.
Almost - Except a very little - ἐν ὀλίγῳ en oligō. Thou hast nearly convinced me that Christianity is true, and persuaded me to embrace it. The arguments of Paul had been so rational; the appeal which he had made to his belief of the prophets had been so irresistible, that he had been nearly convinced of the truth of Christianity. We are to remember:
(1) That Agrippa was a Jew, and that he would look on this whole subject in a different manner from the Roman Festus.
(2) that he does not appear to have partaken of the violent passions and prejudices of the Jews who had accused Paul.
(3) pits character, as given by Josephus, is that of a mild, candid, and ingenuous man. He had no particular hostility to Christians; he knew that they were not justly charged with sedition and crime; and he saw the conclusion to which a belief of the prophets inevitably tended. Yet, as in thousands of other cases, he was not quite persuaded to be a Christian. What was included in the "almost"; what prevented his being quite persuaded, we know not. It may have been that the evidence was not so clear to his mind as he would profess to desire; or that he was not willing to give up his sins; or that he was too proud to rank himself with the followers of Jesus of Nazareth; or that, like Felix, he was willing to defer it to a more convenient season. There is every reason to believe that he was never quite persuaded to embrace the Lord Jesus, and that he was never nearer the kingdom of heaven than at this moment. It was the crisis, the turning-point in Agrippa's life, and in his eternal destiny; and, like thousands of others, he neglected or refused to allow the full conviction of the truth on his mind, and died in his sins.
Thou persuadest me - Thou dost convince me of the truth of the Christian religion, and persuadest me to embrace it.
To be a Christian - On the name Christian, see the notes on Acts 11:26. On this deeply interesting case we may observe:
(1) That there are many in the same situation as Agrippa- many who are almost, but not altogether, persuaded to be Christians. They are found among:
(a) Those who have been religiously educated;
(b) Those who are convinced by argument of the truth of Christianity;
(c) Those whose consciences are awakened, and who feel their guilt, and the necessity of some better portion than this world can furnish.
(2) such persons are deterred from being altogether Christians by the following, among other causes:
(a) By the love of sin - the love of sin in general, or some particular sin which they are not willing to abandon;
(b) By the fear of shame, persecution, or contempt, if they become Christians;
on Acts 26 :28
26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian! - See here, Festus altogether a heathen, Paul alogether a Christian, Agrippa halting between both. Poor Agrippa! But almost persuaded! So near the mark, and yet fall short! Another step, and thou art within the vail. Reader, stop not with Agrippa; but go on with Paul.