Summary: Paul Before Festus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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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.


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.

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