After Paul’s arrest, he is given the chance to defend himself in front of the Jewish crowd. He tells his story of how he came to Christ, with an emphasis on the details that would be more convincing to his audience. They are interested in hearing the story until he acknowledges his ministry to Gentiles. Since the Romans are clueless as to what all the controversy is about, they assume they can whip Paul and get him to give them some information. Whipping Paul might also have gotten the crowd to settle down. The justice system at the time only required due process for Roman citizens, and there would not have been very many of those in an outlying province, like Israel. When Paul informed them that he was a citizen, this sets in motion a legal process that will take us through the rest of Acts.
Our stories of how we came to Christ can be powerful things. Our problems and doubts are common to everyone and the longing we have to be loved and forgiven are as well. Each of our circumstances are different, but Jesus is always the solution. Today, look for someone to whom you can tell your story.