Especially because I know you to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: why I beseech you to hear me patiently…
Wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. The occasion of these words of the apostle may be justly viewed all round as a model occasion of public speaking for the preacher, and of listening for the hearer. A certain amount of result, and of very powerful result, was gained, though confessedly not all that could have been wished. It is not the less to be noticed that just that, however, was gained which may be supposed obtainable by the faithful use of the best human means. And for the rest, the work was stayed where, in the very truest sense, we are warranted to say, "Permitte cetera Deo," or the results belong to God. The occasion, perhaps unintentionally enough, reveals the great standing conditions of effective preaching and profiting hearing. There must be -
I. ONE COMPETENT TO SPEAK.
1. He must know his subject.
2. He must feel deeply his subject.
3. He must handle a subject which concerns his hearers, and is neither above them nor beside their needs.
4. He must know the graces of speech, but specially that of respectfulness and courtesy towards those whose ear he wishes to gain. Who might command may sometimes better "beseech" (Philemon 1:8, 9), and so much the more if one thing that he asks for is the thing so rare, so difficult, patience.
II. THOSE PREPARED TO HEAR. Different considerations will determine the question in what such preparedness may most truly consist. We have here to do with only a certain human range of preparedness.
1. The hearer must be open, ready, willing to hear and capable of understanding. Paul does not speak hollow words. He knows he can make much greater progress With Agrippa than with Festus, because Agrippa was really not unversed in matters of revealed truth.
2. The hearer must be prepared to give his mind patiently to the great subjects that may be exhibited to him. They are what may well require patience.
3. He must be honest to make decision and to take action on what he has heard. So far Agrippa went a long way towards being "a good hearer" of the Word.
4. If the case be such, he must-be ready to give full public profession of his decision. In this Agrippa failed. He and Festus only "talked between themselves." - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.