Like great-grandfather, like grandfather, like father, like son – this tells the story of Herod Agrippa II. He inherited the effects of generations of powerful men with flawed personalities. Each son followed his father in weaknesses, mistakes, and missed opportunities. Each generation had a confrontation with God, but each failed to realise the importance of the decision. Herod Agrippa’s great-uncle, Herod Antipas, actually met Jesus during his trial, but failed to see Jesus for who he was. Agrippa II heard the gospel from Paul, but considered the message mild entertainment. He found it humorous that Paul actually tried to convince him to become a Christian.
Like so many before and after, Agrippa II stopped within hearing distance of the kingdom of God. He left himself without excuse. He heard the gospel but decided it wasn’t worth responding to personally. Unfortunately, his mistake isn’t uncommon. Many who read this story will also not believe. Their problem, like his, is not really that the gospel isn’t convincing or that they don’t need to know God personally; it is that they choose not to respond.
What has been your response to the gospel? Has it turned your life around and given you the hope of eternal life, or has it been a message to resist or reject? Perhaps it has just been entertainment. It may seem like too great a price to give God control of your life, but it is an even greater price by far to live eternally apart from him because you have chosen not to be his child.
Strengths and accomplishments:
- Last of the Herod dynasty that ruled parts of Palestine from 40 B.C. to A.D. 100
- Continued his father’s success in mediating between Rome and Palestine
- Continued the family tradition of building and improving cities
Weaknesses and mistakes:
- Was not convinced by the gospel and consciously rejected it
- Carried on an incestuous relationship with his sister Bernice
Lessons from his life:
- Families pass on both positive and negative influences to children
- There are no guarantees of multiple opportunities to respond to God
- Occupation: Ruler of northern and eastern Palestine
- Relatives: Great-grandfather: Herod the Great. Father: Herod Agrippa I. Great-uncle: Herod Antipas. Sister: Bernice, Drusilla
- Contemporaries: Paul, Felix, Festus, Peter, Luke
Key verse: “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’ “ (Acts 26:28).
Herod Agrippa II’s story is told in Acts 25:13 – 26:32.