13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17 So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19 Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”
23 So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v. 13 King Agrippa ruled a small kingdom north of Judea under the emperor’s authority. King Agrippa along with his sister Bernice visited Festus in Caesarea.
- v.14-21 The Jews had spoken badly of Paul and had accused him of many serious crimes, but following Festus’ examination of Paul, he could find no crime that Paul had committed. Festus concluded that Paul’s case was only a dispute over religious matters.
- v. 22 King Agrippa, being a Jew himself, wanted to learn more about Paul and asked to see Paul himself.
- v. 23 King Agrippa and Bernice arrived into the audience room with “great pomp”. You can imagine the procession and fuss made and the entourage of high-ranking officials and other “important” people that would have stood on one side of the room, while Paul, a single prisoner in chains, stood on the other side.
- v. 25-27 Festus recounts that Paul is innocent of the charges made against him. In order for Festus to send Paul to Caesar he has to provide some explanation for why he is being sent, so he enlists the help of King Agrippa.
submitted by Phan Han
PRAYING IN FAITH
“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that none may boast before him.” (1 Cor 1:27-29)
The world tells us that we have to be a certain way to be successful in life, but God has set us apart to be different. Not to be weak in the sense of letting people trample over us, but weak in the sense of self and yielding to God- following his way of doing and being, that ultimately will achieve better results than this world ever could. Pray that we humble ourselves for God to use us more.
For Your Five
Paul’s identity was firmly grounded in Christ and his confidence in God. Pray that your five will have a solid assurance of who they are in Christ, wherever they go and whatever people they are surrounded by.
For Our Church
Paul is about to give testimony about Jesus Christ to King Agrippa and Festus. He’s ready for any opportunity to share about Jesus. Pray that our brothers and sisters in church have that same preparedness in our hearts-ready to testify about Jesus in any circumstance.