Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take over his new responsibilities, he left for Jerusalem, where the leading priests and other Jewish leaders met with him and made their accusations against Paul. They asked Festus as a favour to transfer Paul to Jerusalem (planning to ambush and kill him on the way). But Festus replied that Paul was at Caesarea and he himself would be returning there soon. So he said, “Those of you in authority can return with me. If Paul has done anything wrong, you can make your accusations.”
About eight or ten days later Festus returned to Caesarea, and on the following day he took his seat in court and ordered that Paul be brought in. When Paul arrived, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem gathered around and made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove. Paul denied the charges. “I am not guilty of any crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government,” he said. Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?”
But Paul replied, “No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews. If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!”
Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, “Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you will go!” (Acts 25:1-12)
This is our first portion to look at carefully from the large block of text I gave you from chapters 25 and 26. Take some time to let the details of the text wash over you. There are some interesting things in this passage given what has gone before. There are many questions we can ask about this passage. But I won’t ask my questions first so I don’t put you off asking yours. Take some time to ponder what Luke has written here for us. The timing of it all it is interesting to say the least. What we have in this passage is a culmination of all that has been going on from the chapters before this. Now things reach decision making time, given the long delay under Felix. What on earth was Felix playing at to allow this case to trundle on unresolved for so long. Was he really that greedy for money? Oops sorry, I have allowed some of my questions to spill out. I will stop and leave you to gather your questions. Share them with me if you will.
Clearly Festus is of a different character from Felix and moves quickly to remove Paul’s case from his matters pending box. Notice that Felix caved in to the favour the Jews asked of him. Festus does no such thing. It appears it is now harder for the Jews of Jerusalem to get what they want. Take time to consider the whole picture and we will pick up the details. It seems these Roman governors need to take the advice of my grandson over the course of these hearings of Paul’s case.
Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.Jaeden Moore (my grandson)
You have to put in many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.Anon
Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.Eleanor Roosevelt
God may not always deliver you from your trials, but He will always deliver you from your fear.Anon
People don’t fear change, they love comfort.Anon