Passage: Acts 25
v1-12 - Paul has been sitting in jail now for two years because Felix was "granting a favor" to the Jews. Festus took Felix's place, and right off the bat, the Jewish leaders bend his ear about Paul's case. Festus wisely and deftly works past their plot to have Paul sent back down to Jerusalem where they can ambush him on the way, and he wastes no time in hearing Paul's case. At the hearing, Paul calls Festus' bluff (Festus, ever the politician, still wants to keep the Jews in his pocket, so he tried to manipulate Paul into going to Jerusalem for trial). Paul instead appeals to Caesar himself, which meant Paul would be sent to Rome.
v13-27 - King Agrippa shows up with his wife / sister Bernice (you read that right... Bernice will go on to become the mistress of two Roman emperors (Vespasian & Titus)). If you've seen the Hunger Games movies, think of the gaudiness of the Capitol city people, and you'll have a good idea of what Agrippa and Bernice were like (They came into the hearing "with great pomp (v23)." The actual Greek word is phantasia.) Festus sees a chance to pin Paul's appeal to Caesar on Agrippa rather than himself, so he props Paul up before them. What a circus. Tune in Monday to find out what happens!
Old Testament Reference -
Psalm 35 points forward to the accusations that would be made against Jesus, but I'm sure that Paul took comfort from it as well as he was kicked around the different levels of Roman bureaucracy.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize: a gift certificate to Seed & Stem 12:27
Imagine that Paul was a close friend of yours, and you've been visiting him during his two year incarceration and throughout these circus like hearings. What would you say to him to bring him comfort?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Savior is 'a dead man named Jesus who is now alive.' (v20)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will have the same fortitude for the Lord that Paul did even as life kicks you down the road
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: