Acts 25

Acts 25 has Paul saga continuing as he works his way through the Roman political system in an effort to tell the story of Jesus.  You may recall that Felix had retired and passed the torch to Festus who is now in leadership.  “The chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way”.  New guy in charge so the Jews try and get a favor from Festus, but he isn’t buying their plot which he has been warned of.

Festus decides to keep Paul safe and sound and again gives him opportunity to tell his side of the story.  “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense”.  Paul knows he is innocent.  But Festus offers Paul the opportunity to go to Jerusalem and be tried which Paul declines.  “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them”.

Paul again plays his Roman citizen card. “ I appeal to Caesar.””  Enough of this local political tug of war.  Why not just go right to the top and state the case there.  Festus agrees as he knows he is on thin ice if he allows the Jews to do what they want.  “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go”.  So Paul heads back to jail and safety while awaiting a trip to Rome so he can make his case before the ruler of all.  But as he waits, King Agrippa comes to town for a visit.  This gives Paul yet another leader to share his testimony with.

Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in”.  Paul has been before a growing number of Roman authorities, each time telling the story of Jesus and what has happened in his life. Festus tells Agrippa “I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to  the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him….For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him”.  So Paul gets put aside yet again to wait for a hearing before King Agrippa.  God continues to give him a platform from which to tell the story of His encounter with Jesus!

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