(27 verses, 2:40 to read)
What I am about to READ
Paul again defends himself.
MARK & LEARN
1-12: Paul and Festus: Note at the end of the previous chapter that Felix, the predecessor of Festus, leaves Paul in prison for two years. Now that meeting occurs during the time of Porcius Festus, a leader mentioned favorably by the Jewish historian Josephus. Still mention is made of an attempt by a Roman official to assuage the Jews. When we remember Pontius Pilate’s similar desires, we see another parallel between the life of Christ and Paul. Yet another Roman official finds no fault in Paul. The key in this section is that Festus attempts to move Paul to Jerusalem for further trial, but Paul appeals to his privilege as a Roman citizen to be heard by Caeser. The request is granted by Festus.
13-22: In the meantime, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice arrive in Caesarea. This Agrippa is Herod Agrippa II, son of Herod Agrippa I (see Acts 12:1-4, 20-23). Following is a helpful genealogical chart of the Agrippa family:
The key point of the debate and why Paul is there at all is glaringly clear to all who hear him. Verse 19 records Festus saying the following: “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.”
23-27: Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus preside before Paul, who here begins his defense at request of Agrippa. Festus again points out that he finds no fault in Paul, but would like to provide some reason for sending him to Caesar.
Jesus predicts the faithful standing before kings and rulers and promises that what they say will be given them. Paul simply states the truth of the Gospel and what his eyes have seen. If ever in his position, Christians today would pray God grant them the strength do the same: simply state the truth of the Gospel and confess the Word of God clearly.
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-Pastor Weslie Odom