Summary: Courageous people are always clean in their hands and conscience. Corrupted persons are always not straightforward and tricksters. The will of God was progressively fulfilled in the life of Paul.
Acts 25:1-21 Paul Tried by Festus
25:1-7 Paul at Caesarea
24:8-11 Paul defends his case before Festus
24:12-22 Festus and King Agrippa on Paul
Acts 25:1-7 Paul at Caesarea
The team of priests and leaders of the Jews met Governor Festus and wanted to hold the trial of Paul, and they demanded the Governor to transfer Paul back to prison in Jerusalem and wanted to try him over there. They urgently requested that favour from him. But Festus explained to them that Paul was already in Caesarea, and he would be reaching soon over there. So, few of their leaders can go over to Caesarea and appear before the Governor, and present their accusation against Paul. When God is for us who can be against us is the statement of Paul because he had experienced many such occasions in his life. After eight or ten days, Festus went to Caesarea and conducted the trial of Paul in the court of the Romans. Here, we could see the hand of God and the purpose of God to take him to Rome and not to Jerusalem.
Acts 24:8-11 Paul defends his case before Festus.
Courageous people are always clean in their hands and conscience. Corrupted persons are always not straightforward and tricksters. Paul had explained that he had never been such a person who worked against the King of the kingdom. He neither done anything against the Jews or the Romans. He neither offended the religious people or the citizens of the nations. He proclaimed the good news and the salvation available to all through Christ Jesus. Festus asked Paul whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem for trial. But Paul defended his case and was pleased to the King rather than to the lower court. He knew that people at Jerusalem are corrupted and not with good spirit about him. He challenges the court that if he is proved guilty, he would die. It was a heart-moving statement of the saint. He said that he is innocent no one has a right to his life. Yes, it is true that when we stand on the side of justice and grace who stand put us to shame and disgrace.
Acts 24:12-21 Festus and King Agrippa on Paul
Festus had conferred with his council and told Paul that since he had appealed to Caesar, he has to go there for a fair trial. A few days later King Agrippa arrived at Caesarea and had a courtesy visit to Festus. Festus discussed Paul’s case with King. He narrated the whole story of what had happened till the arrest of Paul and the trial and the appeal he made to Caesar. Festus justified that Paul was innocent. But he could not release him because Paul had appealed to Caesar as Roman Citizenship rights and privileges. Festus was fair enough in all his dealings with Paul. But at the same time, he could not free Paul. The will of God was progressively fulfilled in the life of Paul. It is crystal clear that Paul was very much at the centre of God’s will.
1. How to interpret the involvement of God in this episode?
2. How do we defend our faith when it is put to test?
3. What testimonials did you carry among your neighbours and authorities?
(For further studies on the book of Acts, kindly refer to this site)