26:24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
Paul has made his defense to Agrippa. You will notice that it was much longer and much more "Jewish" than when he was addressing Felix and Festus. It seems Paul knows two things about Agrippa. First is that he is very knowledgeable about the Jews and the events that have transpired over the past few years. The second is that he is convinced Agrippa is a believer.
The lesson here is that there are different ways to approach different people. Notice that Festus' reaction to Paul was that he was mad/crazy but that's because Paul was not targeting Festus. His audience was Agrippa.
My brother in law has a business degree and some of his courses were in advertising. He learned that if you watch an advertisement and either don't get it or think it's stupid it's because it wasn't aimed at you. You were not the target audience. Quality advertising has a target and the ad is calculated to reach those specific people.
The same principle is true in all facets of life and Paul well understood it. Arguments must be tailored to the person you are addressing if you have any chance of communicating effectively. Farming illustrations won't work on a city audience. Sports illustrations won't work with people who don't know anything about sports. The Bible is not an effective base of argument or explanation if the person you are talking to either knows nothing about the Bible or doesn't believe it has any validity or credibility.
In this chapter a large audience is listening to Paul but he has an audience of one. His target is Agrippa. His argument is decidedly Jewish. His account stretches back to history Agrippa well knows and extends into the present situation. This is also important to understand when communicating with anyone. Not only do you have to know what is meaningful and believable and understood by them, you also have to start the story on common ground. The point of departure has to be a place they have been so that you are starting on the same page.
Now how did Paul get so wise? First he has studied the life of Jesus. If you do the same you will discover that Jesus used different approaches with different people. He was very careful to be sensitive to their situation. With the religious leaders He was bold and direct. With the woman at the well He requested a drink from her hand to show that He did not consider Himself to be better than her or too good to accept something from her "unclean" Samaritan hands.
Second Paul had the Spirit of God living in him and he was in constant connection with God.
There is much to be learned from the Scriptures and really we're only scratching the surface. We'll continue tomorrow with Agrippa's response.