Reading For Tuesday Acts 25:1-12
The previous governor Felix had detained Paul in prison for two years out of the fear that he might offend the Jews by setting him free. He spoke with Paul regularly, hoping for a bribe. Felix had been removed from his office, and his successor was Porcius Festus. Three days after the new governor arrived, the Jewish leaders sought an audience to bring their case against Paul before him. They asked this new political leader for a favor so that they would have an opportunity to ambush and kill Paul along the way. Festus said that Paul was in Caesarea and that he intended to go there shortly. He invited some of their leaders to accompany him and bring their charges against him there. Festus did not delay when he reach Caesarea and the following day he took his seat on the tribunal.
Paul’s accusers came and brought unfounded charges against him. Luke tells us that the charges brought against Paul were quite serious. Paul denied all of the charges but Festus wanted to gain favor with the Jews, and he suggested that they hold a trial in Jerusalem. Paul turned to the one legal recourse he had that would ensure against him being taken there for prosecution. Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen and requested a trial before Caesar. This maneuver took the matter out of Festus’s hands legally and when he had consulted with his advisers, agreed to process the appeal. This not only freed Paul from the Jerusalem zealots, but it also produced an opportunity for him to witness in Rome, where God was sending him.
Things To Consider:
- Is political positioning anything new?
- How should we view politics in light of scripture?
- How do you know if you should respond with silence or defend yourself against false accusations? How do you know?
- How should we think about our civic duty and government?
- Where do Paul's ultimate confidence and hope lie? How do you know?