Monday, 22 April 2013

Theme Number 61 From Malta to Rome

Act 28:12  At Syracuse we put in and stayed for two days.
Act 28:13  From there we came round and reached Rhegium; and a day later, a south wind sprang up which brought us by the evening of the next day to Puteoli.
landing at Syracuse — the ancient and celebrated capital of Sicily, on its eastern coast, about eighty miles, or a day’s sail, north from Malta.
we tarried there three days — probably from the state of the wind. Doubtless Paul would wish to go ashore, to find out and break ground among the Jews and proselytes whom such a mercantile center would attract to it; and if this was allowed at the outset of the voyage (Act_27:3), much more readily would it be now when he had gained the reverence and confidence of all classes with whom he came in contact. At any rate we cannot wonder that he should be regarded by the Sicilians as the founder of the Church of that island.

Puteoli In Italy

Act 28:14  Here (Puteoli) we found brethren, who invited us to remain with them for a week; and so we reached Rome.

Act 28:15  Meanwhile the brethren there, hearing of our movements, came as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Huts to meet us; and when Paul saw them he thanked God and felt encouraged.
Act 28:16  Upon our arrival in Rome, Paul received permission to live by himself, guarded by a soldier.

Market of Appius and the Three Huts [Taverns]


tav'-ernz: Three Taverns (Latin Tres Tabernae, Greek transliterates treis tabernai; Cicero Ad Att. i0.13; ii.12, 13) was a station on the Appian Road at the 33rd milestone (301/3 English miles from Rome), according to the Itineraries of the Roman Empire (Itin. Ant. vii; Tab. Peut.; Geogr. Rav. iv.34), a converging point of traffic at the crossing of a road from Antium to Norba. Tripontium, 6 miles down the Appian Road in the direction of Appii Forum, was reckoned as the point where the highway entered the region of the Pontiac marshes, the most notable natural feature of this part of Italy.

Parties of the Christian brethren in Rome went out to greet the apostle Paul when news was brought that he had arrived at Puteoli, one group proceeding as far as Appii Forum, while another awaited his coming at Three Taverns (Acts 28:15).ISBE
Act 28:17  After one complete day he invited the leading men among the Jews to meet him; and, when they were come together, he said to them, "As for me, brethren, although I had done nothing prejudicial to our people or contrary to the customs of our forefathers, I was handed over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the power of the Romans.
Act 28:18  They, after they had sharply questioned me, were willing to set me at liberty, because they found no offence in me for which I deserve to die.
Act 28:19  But, at last, the opposition of the Jews compelled me to appeal to Caesar; not however that I had any charge to bring against my nation.
Act 28:20  For these reasons, then, I have invited you here, that I might see you and speak to you; for it is for the sake of Him who is the hope of Israel that this chain hangs upon me."
Notes JFB Acts 28:17-20
Paul called the chief of the Jews together — Though banished from the capital by Claudius, the Jews enjoyed the full benefit of the toleration which distinguished the first period of Nero’s reign, and were at this time in considerable numbers, wealth, and influence settled at Rome. We have seen that long before this a flourishing Christian Church existed at Rome, to which Paul wrote his Epistle (see on Act_20:3), and the first members of which were probably Jewish converts and proselytes. (See on Introduction to Romans.)
yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans — the Roman authorities, Felix and Festus.

Act 28:21  "For our part," they replied, "we have not received any letters from Judaea about you, nor have any of our countrymen come here and reported or stated anything to your disadvantage.
Act 28:22  But we should be glad to hear from you what it is that you believe; for as for this sect all we know is that it is everywhere spoken against."
Act 28:23  So they arranged a day with him and came to him in considerable numbers at the house of the friends who were entertaining him. And then, with solemn earnestness, he explained to them the subject of the Kingdom of God, endeavouring from morning till evening to convince them about Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
Act 28:24  Some were convinced; others refused to believe.

Notes JFB Acts 28:23-24
there came many — “considerable numbers”
into his lodging — The word denotes one’s place of stay as a guest (Phm_1:22), not “his own hired house,” mentioned in Act_28:30. Some Christian friends - possibly Aquila and Priscilla, who had returned to Rome (Rom_16:3), would be glad to receive him, though he would soon find himself more at liberty in a house of his own.
to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God — opening up the great spiritual principles of that kingdom in opposition to the contracted and secular views of it entertained by the Jews.
persuading them concerning Jesus — as the ordained and predicted Head of that kingdom.
out of the law ... and the prophets — drawing his materials and arguments from a source mutually acknowledged.
from morning till evening — “Who would not wish to have been present?” exclaims Bengel; but virtually we are present while listening to those Epistles which he dictated from his prison at Rome, and to his other epistolary expositions of Christian truth against the Jews.

Act 28:25  Unable to agree among themselves, they at last left him, but not before Paul had spoken a parting word to them, saying, "Right well did the Holy Spirit say to your forefathers through the Prophet Isaiah:
Act 28:28  "Be fully assured, therefore, that this salvation--God's salvation--has now been sent to the Gentiles, and that they, at any rate, will give heed."
V.28 Notes The salvation of God is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear — (See on Act_13:44-48). “This departure to the Gentiles” he had intimated to the perverse Jews at Antioch (Act_13:46), and at Corinth (Act_18:6); now at Rome: thus in Asia, Greece, and Italy” [Bengel].

Act 28:30  After this Paul lived for fully two years in a hired house of his own, receiving all who came to see him.
Act 28:31  He announced the coming of the Kingdom of God, and taught concerning the Lord Jesus Christ without let or hindrance.

Peter and the others of “the twelve” preached in the hope of the soon-coming Kingdom. The all important theme in the book of Acts is the question:
“Lord, art Thou at this time restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:6
However, the notable thread in the book of Acts is that Israel, and especially Jerusalem, reject the message concerning their risen Messiah. At the same time, we see how the attention shifts from “the twelve” to the thirteenth apostle: “Saul, who is also known as Paul”; a transition from Israel to the nations; a change from a glorious beginning in Jerusalem to an eventually imprisoned apostle in Rome. Have all these changes caused “the Kingdom of God” to have become a none issue? On the contrary, Paul continues to speak about the Kingdom of God. This he did in Ephesus (19:8) and elsewhere (20:25). And when he arrives in Rome, he also presents this subject to the Jewish leaders, “from morning till evening” (28:23). Why? What did Paul have to say about it? Listen to what he, in conclusion, said to the Jewish company:
Let it be known to you, then, that to the nations was dispatched this salvation of God, and they will hear.”Acts 28:28

Paul made known in Rome what he had everywhere declared in the synagogues: the message of salvation is no longer addressed to Israel, but to the nations; without distinction. With this, the Kingdom would (temporarily) not become evident, but remain hidden. It was precisely about this that Paul had much information to share. During the two years he was imprisoned in Rome, that remained his focus. Paul and the Kingdom of God, GoedBericht English

Paul Preaching of the Kingdom of God

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Theme Number 60 Paul and the Passengers on the Isle of MALTA

Acts chapter 28

Act 28:1  Our lives having been thus preserved, we discovered that the island was called Malta.
Act 28:2  The strange-speaking natives showed us remarkable kindness, for they lighted a fire and made us all welcome because of the pelting rain and the cold.

the barbarous people — so called merely as speaking neither the Greek nor the Latin language. They were originally Phoenician colonists.
showed us no little — “no ordinary”
kindness, for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain — “the rain that was on us” - not now first falling, but then falling heavily.
and because of the cold — welcomed us all, drenched and shivering, to these most seasonable marks of friendship. In this these “barbarians” contrast favorably with many since bearing the Christian name. The lifelike style of the narrative here and in the following verses gives it a great charm.
Act 28:3  Now, when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and had thrown them on the fire, a viper, driven by the heat, came out and fastened itself on his hand.
Act 28:4  When the natives saw the creature hanging to his hand, they said to one another, "Beyond doubt this man is a murderer, for, though saved from the sea, unerring Justice does not permit him to live."
Act 28:5  He, however, shook the reptile off into the fire and was unhurt.
Act 28:6  They expected him soon to swell with inflammation or suddenly fall down dead; but, after waiting a long time and seeing no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
Notes: The Power of God prevented anything from hindering God’s Purpose for Paul to testify before Caesar. What God has said will always come to pass. The 14 day storm at sea and the viper attached to Paul’s hand, did not stop what God had said would come to pass.
they looked — “continued looking.”
when he should have swollen or fallen down dead — familiar with the effects of such bites.
and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said ... he was a god — from “a murderer” to “a god,” as the Lycaonian greeting of Paul and Silas from “sacrificing to them” to “stoning them” (Act_14:13, Act_14:19). What has not the Gospel done for the uncultivated portion of the human family, while its effects on the educated and refined, though very different, are not less marvelous! Verily it is God’s chosen restorative for the human spirit, in all the multitudinous forms and gradations of its lapsed state.

Paul bitten by a Viper

The Healing of the Governor’s Father and many others.

Act 28:7  Now in the same part of the island there were estates belonging to the Governor, whose name was Publius. He welcomed us to his house, and for three days generously made us his guests.
Act 28:8  It happened, however, that his father was lying ill of dysentery aggravated by attacks of fever; so Paul went to see him, and, after praying, laid his hands on him and cured him.
Act 28:9  After this, all the other sick people in the island came and were cured.Bible Verses About Healing - The Bible speaks often of miraculous healing through the work of Jesus Christ and through faith in God. Find Scripture that will encourage you and help you focus on finding comfort through the healing of Christ both spiritually and physically.

  • My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;  for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Theme Number 59 The Storm and the Shipwreck (cont.)

"The situation of the ship on the fifteenth morning," painted by H. Smartly, engraved by H. Adlard. From James Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (1880 edition), page 140.

Act 27:20  Then, when for several days neither sun nor stars were seen and the terrific gale still harassed us, the last ray of hope was now vanishing.
Act 27:21  When for a long time they had taken but little food, Paul, standing up among them, said, "Sirs, you ought to have listened to me and not have sailed from Crete. You would then have escaped this suffering and loss.
Act 27:22  But now take courage, for there will be no destruction of life among you, but of the ship only.
Act 27:23  For there stood by my side, last night, an angel of the God to whom I belong, and whom also I worship,
Act 27:24  and he said, "'Dismiss all fear, Paul, for you must stand before Caesar; and God has granted you the lives of all who are sailing with you.'
Act 27:25  "Therefore, Sirs, take courage; for I believe God, and am convinced that things will happen exactly as I have been told.WNT

Saying, fear not, Paul,.... For though the apostle knew and believed he should go to Rome, and appear before Caesar, to whom he had appealed, and where he should bear a testimony for Christ; and though he had previous notice of this storm, and of the loss and damage which should be sustained, and which he expected; yet the flesh was weak, and he might be under some fears and misgivings of heart, for these sometimes attend the best of men. J.Gill

Thou must be brought before Caesar; as has been declared, and therefore cannot be lost in this storm; it is the will and decree of God, which cannot be frustrated, it must be:

and lo, God has given thee all them that sail with thee; that is, God had determined to save the whole ship's company for his sake, and in answer to his prayers, which he had been putting up for them; the Lord had heard him, and granted his request, and would save them all on his account: so sometimes God saves a nation, a city, a body of men, even of ungodly men, for the sake of a few that fear his name, who are among them.J.Gill

Act 27:26  But we are to be stranded on a certain island."
Act 27:27  It was now the fourteenth night, and we were drifting through the Sea of Adria, when, about midnight, the sailors suspected that land was close at hand.
Act 27:28  So they hove the lead and found twenty fathoms of water; and after a short time they hove again and found fifteen fathoms. (And sounding they found it twenty fathoms; and moving a little further, and sounding again, they found it fifteen fathoms.MKJV)
Act 27:29  Then for fear of possibly running on rocks, they threw out four anchors from the stern and waited impatiently for daylight. WNT

Two full weeks had passed, and the storm showed no sign of weakening. No one had seen the sun, the moon, or the stars for many days (verse 20). Since ancient sailors navigated by the heavens, this meant they had no idea where they were. The ship was being driven about at the mercy of the wind. All hope of survival was gone. When all human hope is gone, the stage has been set for our omnipotent God to intervene.
Have you ever noticed how often God brings men to this point before He intervenes? God promised an elderly couple they would have a son, and then waited 25 years to make certain that this would be a miracle. But that child – Isaac – was born, just as God said (Genesis 12-21). God put Israel between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, so that there appeared to be no way out. Only then did God part the sea, so that the Israelites passed through on dry ground (Exodus 13:17—14:31). God instructed Gideon to reduce his warriors from 32,000 to 300 men, and then ordered him to wage war on the Midianites, who were as numerous as “the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12). Needless to say, God gave Gideon the victory. King Hezekiah and the city of Jerusalem were surrounded by the Assyrian army. They were hopelessly outnumbered, but the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 in one night, and thus the army withdrew and went home (Isaiah 36-37). God loves impossible situations, because when He does the impossible, no man can lay claim to any part of the glory that belongs only to Him.

Act 27:34  Therefore I beg you to take some food, for this is for your deliverance. For not a hair of your head shall perish.
Act 27:35  And saying these things, and taking bread, he gave thanks to God before all, and breaking, he began to eat.
Act 27:36  And all becoming cheered, they also took food.
Act 27:37  And we were, all the souls in the ship, two hundred and seventy-six.
Act 27:38  And being filled with food, they lightened the ship, throwing the wheat into the sea.
Act 27:39  And when day came, they did not recognize the land. But they discovered a certain bay with a beach, into which they were minded, if they were able, to drive the ship.
Act 27:40  And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea; at the same time they loosened the rudder bands and hoisted up the foresail to the wind and held to the shore.
Act 27:41  And coming on a place between two seas, they drove the vessel. And indeed the prow sticking fast, it remained unmovable. But the stern was broken with the violence of the waves.
Act 27:42  And the mind of the soldiers was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out and escape.
Act 27:43  But the centurion, desiring to save Paul, kept them from their purpose and commanded those who could swim, to throw themselves overboard, to go out on the land.
Act 27:44  And the rest went, some on boards and others on some of the things from the ship. And so it happened that all were saved on the land.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Theme Number 59 The Storm at Sea

Alexandian Ship running aground

Theme Number 59 The Storm at Sea
Act 27:13  And a light breeze from the south sprang up, so that they supposed they were now sure of their purpose. So weighing anchor they ran along the coast of Crete, hugging the shore.
Act 27:14  But it was not long before a furious north-east wind, coming down from the mountains, burst upon us and carried the ship out of her course.
Act 27:15  She was unable to make headway against the gale; so we gave up and let her drive.
Act 27:16  Then we ran under the lee of a little island called Cauda, where we managed with great difficulty to secure the boat;
Act 27:20  Then, when for several days neither sun nor stars were seen and the terrific gale still harassed us, the last ray of hope was now vanishing. WNT

Act 27:17  and, after hoisting it on board, they used frapping-cables to undergird the ship, and, as they were afraid of being driven on the Syrtis quicksands, they lowered the gear and lay to.
Act 27:18  But, as the storm was still violent, the next day they began to lighten the ship;
Act 27:19  and, on the third day, with their own hands they threw the ship's spare gear overboard.

Barnes Undergirding the ship - The ancients were accustomed to pass cables or strong ropes around a vessel to keep the planks from springing or starting by the action of the sea. This is now called “frapping” a vessel. The operation of “frapping” a vessel is thus described in Falconer’s Marine Dictionary. “To frap a ship is to pass four or five turns of a large cable-laid rope round the hull or frame of a ship to support her in a great storm, or otherwise, when it is apprehended that she is not strong enough to resist the violent efforts of the sea.”
Syrtis - the quicksands - There were two celebrated syrtes, or quicksands, on the coast of Africa, called the greater and lesser. They were vast beds of sand driven up by the sea, and constantly shifting their position, so that it could not be known certainly where the danger was. As they were constantly changing their position, they could not be accurately laid down in a chart. The sailors were afraid, therefore, that they should be driven on one of those banks of sand, and thus be lost.

Wrecked on Malta

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Theme Number 58 Paul enroute for Rome by Ship.

Act 27:1  Now when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they handed over Paul
and a few other prisoners into the custody of Julius, a Captain of the Augustan battalion;
Act 27:2  and going on board a ship of Adramyttium which was about to sail to the ports of the province of Asia, we put to sea; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, from Thessalonica, forming one of our party.
Act 27:3  The next day we put in at Sidon. There Julius treated Paul with thoughtful kindness and allowed him to visit his friends and profit by their generous care.
Act 27:4  Putting to sea again, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us;
Act 27:5  and, sailing the whole length of the sea that lies off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we reached Myra in Lycia.
Act 27:6  There Julius found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy, and put us on board of her.

Notes: v.1. Because of the "we"mentioned in v.1 we assume that Luke was there accompanying Paul of this Journey to Rome. They also had Aristarchus, the Macedonian, from Thessalonica, forming one of our party.
Barnes : Aristarchus  "He went with him to Rome, and was a fellow-prisoner with him there Col_4:10, and is mentioned Phm_1:24 as Paul’s fellow-laborer. It was doubtless a great comfort to Paul to have with him two such valuable friends as Luke and Aristarchus; and it was an instance of great affection for him that they were not ashamed of his bonds, but were willing to share his dangers, and to expose themselves to peril for the sake of accompanying him to Rome.
prisoners into the custody of Julius, a Captain of the Augustan battalion;
A centurion - A commander of 100 men.
Of Augustus’ band - For the meaning of the word “band,” see the Mat_27:27 note; Act_10:1 note. It was a division in the Roman army consisting of from 400 to 600 men. This was called “Augustus’ band” in honor of the Roman emperor Augustus (see the notes on Act_25:21), and was probably distinguished in some way for the care in enlisting or selecting them.  
Act 27:3  The next day we put in at Sidon. There Julius treated Paul with thoughtful kindness and allowed him to visit his friends and profit by their generous care.
Julius courteously entreated Paul - At the conclusion of the preceding chapter, it has been intimated that the kind treatment which Paul received, both from Julius and at Rome, was owing to the impression made on the minds of Agrippa and Festus, relative to his innocence. It appears that Julius permitted him to go ashore, and visit the Christians which were then at Sidon, without using any extraordinary precautions to prevent his escape. He was probably accompanied with the soldier to whose arm he was chained; and it is reasonable to conclude that this soldier would fare well on St. Paul’s account.

Act 27:6  There Julius found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy, and put us on board of her.
A ship of Alexandria - It appears, from Act_27:38, that this ship was laden with wheat, which she was carrying from Alexandria to Rome. We know that the Romans imported much corn from Egypt, together with different articles of Persian and Indian merchandise. A.C. This ship was large carrying 276 souls.

Act 27:7  It took several days of slow sailing for us to come with difficulty off Cnidus; from which point, as the wind did not allow us to get on in the direct course, we ran under the lee of Crete by Salmone.
Act 27:8  Then, coasting along with difficulty, we reasched a place called 'Fair Havens,' near the town of Lasea.
Act 27:9  Our voyage thus far had occupied a considerable time, and the navigation being now unsafe and the Fast also already over, Paul warned them.
Act 27:10  "Sirs," he said, "I perceive that before long the voyage will be attended with danger and heavy loss, not only to the cargo and the ship but to our own lives also."
Act 27:11  But Julius let himself be persuaded by the pilot and by the owner rather than by Paul's arguments;
Act 27:12  and as the harbour was inconvenient for wintering in, the majority were in favour of putting out to sea, to try whether they could get to Phoenix--a harbour on the coast of Crete facing north-east and south-east--to winter there.

When much time was spent. How long a time had passed since the embarkation cannot be told, but so long that sailing was now dangerous. On account of the season of year. In the winter, not only the storms, but the clouds and darkness, interfered with navigation. Mariners, in the absence of the compass, needed the sun and stars to direct their course.

Because the fast was . . . past. That of the Atonement, which came in October.

Sirs, I perceive. Paul's experience taught him the danger of proceeding. It was the stormy and tempestuous season. He therefore volunteered his advice.

Centurion gave more heed. The master, or captain, and the owner, were both aboard, and it was but natural that their wishes would prevail with the centurion. The chief argument for proceeding was that Fair Havens was not a good harbor, and they hoped to reach a better one.

Phenice. This place, Phoenix in the Revision, was never reached, but would have been a good place for wintering, for the excellent harbor there remains to this day.

When the south wind blew. When this wind arose, they supposed they could attain their purpose, and sailed along the southern shore of Crete to reach, if possible, Phoenix.
Old Phoenix S. Crete

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Theme Number 57 Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Paul the Missionary said, I’m ‘in journeys oft’.  Travel is surely one of the Characteristics of Missionary life. Paul’s First Missionary Journey with Barnabas was to Cyprus and Phamphilia. It was  an Missionary journey where They were sent out by the Holy Spirit after prayer and fasting by the Antiochan Assembly in Syria.  

It involved the shortest of the missionary journeys; where a Roman Proconsul was converted, Paul was stoned and left for dead but God raised him up; where John Mark deserted them; and churches were established with elders chosen in each place.
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

The second journey began on a rather unfortunate circumstance: "Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the word. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left." (Acts 15:37-40) We never hear of Barnabas after this.
Paul's second missionary journey began about 49 AD, and like the first journey, it was no "10-day excursion." He would not return for about 3 years, until 52.
Here are some of the Highlights. of the Second Missionary Journey.
1. Paul’s Vision of the man of Macedonia calling them to come and help them Acts 16:6-10
2. Lydia the seller of Purple converted at Philippi Acts 16:11-15
3. Paul and Silas rescued from Prison by an earthquake and the jailer converted Acts 16:16-40
4. In three weeks Preaching Paul established the church at Thessalonica Acts 17:1-9
5. Paul preaching in the Aeropagus in Athens; and in Corinth for 18 months. Acts 18

It was the Advance of the Gospel into Europe and the amazing opening up of the greek work to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Missionary Journey Number Three Acts 19;20
Pauls Third Journey included a three year stay at Ephesus which a very significant church was established with Acquila, Priscilla and Apollos and Timothy. Here the whole of Roman Asia heard the Word and eventually Timothy was left in Charge.
The Fourth Missionary Journey Acts 27-28

Friday, 12 April 2013

Theme Number 56 Paul before Agrippa. Acts 26

After consulting with Agrippa who had arrived in Caesurea Paul was brought in before him and Bernice and other high ranking officials. Festus declared that he didn’t understand the charges against Paul and needed something to write to the Emperor in Rome about the case.

Paul’s defended himself before Agrippa.
He told Agrippa that he was fortunate to stand before him who understood the Jewish customs and controversies. Paul asked him to hear him patiently.
He outlined his early life and that he was well known to the Jews as a strict Pharisee in Jerusalem. He stated that it was because of the Hope of Israel promised to their fathers that he was being tried.The hope of Israel was the Resurrection of the dead. He asked why should anyone consider this incredible?

Then he outlined how he opposed the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, how he threw believers in prison and voted against those who were put to death. He had forced them to blaspheme even going to foreign cities to arrest them.
He spoke of his conversion on the road to Damascus when He met Jesus who said in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the Goads. (the pricks).

Paul was told to get up and that he was appointed a servant and a witness of what he had seen of Jesus. He was told that he would be rescued from his own people and the gentiles to whom he was being sent.
He was to do the following:acts 26:17
1) to open their eyes,
2) to turn them from darkness to light,
3) and from the power of Satan to God,
4) then they would receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
Barnes Notes:To open their eyes - To enlighten or instruct them. Ignorance is represented by the eyes being closed, and the instruction of the gospel by the opening of the eyes. See Eph_1:18.
And to turn them from darkness to light - From the darkness of paganism and sin to the light and purity of the gospel. Darkness is an emblem of ignorance and of sin, and the pagan nations are often represented as sitting in darkness. Compare the Mat_4:16 note; Joh_1:4-5 notes.
And from the power of Satan - From the dominion of Satan. Compare Col_1:13; 1Pe_2:9. See the notes on Joh_12:31; Joh_16:11. Satan is thus represented as the prince of this world, the ruler of the darkness of this world, the prince of the power of the air, etc. The pagan world, lying in sin and superstition, is represented as under his control; and this passage teaches, doubtless, that the great mass of the people of this world are the subjects of the kingdom of Satan, and are led captive by him at his will.

He explained his Obedience to the heavenly Vision. He had preached in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea and to Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
He spoke to Agrippa and Bernice that Christ should suffer according to Moses and the prophets had said. And that asChrist was first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to his own people and to the gentiles.
Festus shouted out interrupting Paul, You are out of your mind, Paul!”Your great learning is driving you insane!”
Paul said, “Most excellent Festus I am not insane. What I am saying is true and reasonable.” Paul pressed Agrippa asking if he believed the prophets then replying, I know you do.”
Thou art beside thyself - Thou art deranged; thou art insane. The reasons why Festus thought Paul mad were, probably:
(1) His great earnestness and excitement on the subject.
(2) his laying such stress on the gospel of the despised Jesus of Nazareth, as if it were a matter of infinite moment. Festus despised it; and he regarded it as proof of derangement that so much importance was attached to it.
(3) Festus regarded, probably, the whole story of the vision that Paul said had appeared to him as the effect of an inflamed and excited imagination, and as a proof of delirium. This is not an uncommon charge against those who are Christians, and especially when they evince unusual zeal. Sinners regard them as under the influence of delirium and fanaticism; as terrified by imaginary and superstitious fears; or as misguided by fanatical leaders. Husbands often thus think their wives to be deranged, and parents perceive their children that, and wicked people assume the ministers of the gospel to be crazy. The frivolous think it proof of derangement that others are serious, anxious, and prayerful; the rich, that others are willing to part with their property to do good; the ambitious and worldly, that others are willing to leave their country and home to go among the Gentiles to spend their lives in making known the unsearchable riches of Christ. The really sober and rational part of the world they who fear God and keep his commandments; they who believe that eternity is before them, and who strive to live for it - are thus charged with insanity by those who are really deluded, and who are thus living lives of madness and folly. The tenants of a madhouse often think all others deranged but themselves; but there is no madness so great, no delirium so awful, as to neglect the eternal interest of the soul for the sake of the pleasures and honors which this life can give.
Much learning - It is probable that Festus was acquainted with the fact that Paul was a learned man. Paul had not, while before him, manifested particularly his learning. But Festus, acquainted in some way with the fact that he was well-educated, supposed that his brain had been turned, and that the effect of it was seen by devotion to a fanatical form of religion. The tendency of long-continued and intense application to produce mental derangement is everywhere known.
Doth make thee mad - Impels, drives, or excites thee περιτρέπει  peritrepei to madness. Barnes Notes

Agrippa asked Paul,  “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Acts 26:16-18
Paul answered, Short time or long - I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.

Agrippa agreed with Festus that Paul could have been freed if he had not appealed to Caesar.