When Paul testifies before King Agrippa he said some interesting things. Luke who records these, was an eyewitness to these events (Acts 27:1 continues to use the word “we”). Paul reflects on the events following the resurrection of Jesus and his own conversion outside Damascus. Festus interrupts him, “Paul you are out of your mind” (26:24) to which Paul responds, “I am not out of my mind, most noble Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner” (verses 25,26).
That last phrase means that these events attracted a lot of attention, they became widely known. Records outside the Bible illustrate the impact that the Christian message had on the ancient world. The message spread and there were so many Christians in Rome 35 years after Christ’s resurrection that the evil Emperor Nero persecuted them ferociously, trying to blame them for the great fire in Rome in AD64. The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius testify this. Truly the events in Jerusalem with its climax in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ “had not been done in a corner”.
The world was forever challenged and changed as a result. As the message spread and the significance of those events sank into thinking minds; the religious attitudes in the world were turned upside down (Acts 17:6). Tragically, in the following centuries, there were increasing efforts to change the message by Greeks and Romans to fit in with their own religious convictions, such as their belief that the human soul is immortal. But the original true message is still believed by those who read their Bible diligently; but sadly today we are in the predicted era when “scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires” (2 Peter 3:3).
Human beings are at last succeeding in persuading themselves that these things were “done in a corner” and can be ignored! What a shock they are in for – the “eleventh hour” is here! May we all be aware and awake!