25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3 asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”
6 After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. 8 Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” 9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v.1-3 Festus was the new Roman governor of Judea succeeding Antonius Felix from about AD 59 to 62. The Jews in the province immediately took the opportunity to accuse Paul before the new governor of political dissent and to stir up riots. They requested that Festus send Paul back to Jerusalem to stand trial with the intention to ambush and kill him on the road.
- v. 4-5 Festus, bearing in mind that Paul is still a Roman citizen, did not go along with the angry Jews’ plan and decides to hear Paul’s case in Caesarea.
- v. 6-7 Many charges were brought against Paul, but none of them could be proven.
- v. 9 Festus wishes to gain favour with the Jews in Judea, over which he governs, given the bad history with his predecessor Felix.
- v. 10-12 Paul, however, refuses to be tried in Jerusalem, stating that he has done nothing wrong, and appeals to Caesar. Festus happily agrees as he can wash his hands of this matter.
- Paul’s enemies are putting immense pressure on Festus to get Paul into trouble, possibly using bribery and applying political pressure.
- Festus tries to please people, their opinion matters to him, whereas Paul isn’t worried about what people think of him. He stands boldly in his innocence as no one can prove that he has done anything wrong. You can see God’s hand protecting Paul.
submitted by Phan Han
PRAYING IN FAITH
If we follow Christ we may face opposition and false accusations. Can we still stand strong against them? Pray that God gives you the strength and wisdom to navigate through these tough situations. Ultimately He is in control, even of our accusers and He has a plan.
For your five
Pray that your five will have integrity whether it is at work/school and a desire to please God rather than people.
For our church
Take some time to pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Pray that God continues to strengthen them and encourage them even in the face of injustice and persecution.