Summary: Paul Before Festus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Acts chapter 25 verses 1-22.
• A missionary was assigned to some remote islands in the Pacific.
• After three months, he sent a fax to mission headquarters:
• "I’m being plagued by rats. What shall I do?"
• Soon a crate arrived, filled with rat traps.
• However, hardly a month later the missionary sent a SECOND fax to headquarters:
• "The rats won’t take the BAIT. What shall I DO?"
• Not long after, a SECOND crate arrived,
• This crate was filled with rat poison.
• However, hardly another month passed,
• When the missionary found it necessary to send a THIRD fax to headquarters:
• "The rats won’t touch the POISON.
• Do you have any OTHER suggestion?"
• Soon he received another fax from mission headquarters:
• "We suggest you get used to the RATS!"
“In adversity we usually want God to do a REMOVING job when He wants to do an IMPROVING job. To realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the storm”.
The Apostle Paul experienced many difficult situations:
• Our passage tonight is an example of some of those problems.
• We are looking at Paul’s fourth defence of his life, actions and faith:
• Had he faxed home to his missionary organisation the reply he would have got;
• Would be: "We suggest you get used to the trials!"
At this particular trial (No 4) Paul is brought before a governor named Porcius Festus:
• He became governor after his predecessor Felix (you encounter him in chapter 24).
• Made a major political blunder.
• While in office Felix tried to quell a riot in Caesarea;
• He succeeded, but in a brutal and violent way, 100’s of Jews were slaughtered.
• News of his ruthless actions soon spread around the various territories,
• And the Jews outraged by the blood bath that took place,
• Sent a delegation to Rome to protest against his actions.
• As a result.
• The Emperor (Nero) recalled governor Felix back to Rome in disgrace;
• And Festus was chosen to replace him.
Fetsus was very different to Felix:
• Felix was a former slave; but Festus was a member of the Roman nobility.
• Felix was brutal & uncaring but Festus appears to be sensitive & caring.
Quote: The first-century Jewish historian Josephus described him
“As better than his predecessor (Felix) and his successor (Albinus),
he appears to have been an able leader”.
• Festus rein as governor was very brief;
• He died about two years after taking office.
• Our passage this evening divides into five sections:
• We will work though the verses and then we will finish with an application.
(1). THE ASSASSINATION PLOTTED (vs 1-5).
Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem,
2 where the chief priests and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.
3 They urgently requested Festus, as a favour to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.
4 Festus answered, Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon.
5 Let some of your leaders come with me and press charges against the man there, if he has done anything wrong.