Acts 25:10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
The apostle Paul was a servant of the Lord. He was not a servant of the devil. The devil had a plan to see the apostle Paul killed. The Lord had a plan for Paul to stand before kings and to stand in Rome. We know that the Lord’s plan will always win. We do not know the details. We do not need to know the details. We need to learn to trust God.
Paul understood that the Jews wanted a kangaroo court. They were lying and thus had nothing to stand on. There was no way of succeeding with them because the truth did not matter to them. Paul also reminded Festus that he knew better than to suggest Paul stand before the Jews. It is important to remind those who assume roles of authority to act on facts, not on emotions. We have already noted, and will see further, that Festus knew better than what he was acting on. He was a corrupt politician.
In verse 11 Paul reminded Festus that he was not above the law. Paul was willing to take full responsibility for his actions. He was not trying to get away with a crime. He would even face death if he was worthy of that. The apostle Paul was also reminding Festus that these trumped up charges were not worthy of consideration. Paul knew that the government could not force him to stand before the false religious leaders who had no interest in truth. It is important to note that even corrupt governments are limited by God in their ability to enact their evil plans.
We need to be reminded of that today as well. Our governments have tried to turn those who believe in God away from the truth. They have tried to threaten us with their evil plot of getting everyone to get these poisonous shots. Some people have believed that they had no choice but to receive the shots. We still have a choice. During the Tribulation, the antichrist will force people to take his mark. However, even then, there will still be the option of refusing that mark. The cost of refusing that mark will be much greater then than refusing to take the shots now. We need to know the facts and we need to know what God is doing.
We see the danger of hardening oneself against the truth. The religious leaders were not worthy of any further time on this matter. They knew the truth and had rejected it. God was going to leave them to wallow in their wickedness. God was going to use this matter to give Paul the opportunity to present the Gospel before the Caesar. The Caesar heard many heretical religious ideas. He needed to be reminded of the truth.
God is merciful and wants all people to be saved. He is merciful and gives people many opportunities to hear the truth and repent and be saved. Paul made his appeal to stand before Caesar to end this game that Festus was trying to play.
In verse 12 we see that Festus really had no option but to grant Paul his request. This approval would end any further opportunity for the Jews to try to trick any politician to open Paul up to an ambush attack.
In the following verses in our text we see further steps used by God to bring glory to His name. King Agrippa and Bernice were another interesting situation. King Agrippa was the son of Herod Agrippa who had James, the brother of John killed. Acts 12 records that event. Bernice was king Agrippa’s sister and they were having an incestuous relationship at this time. King Agrippa was familiar with the Jewish law. We read that he and Bernice came to welcome Festus in his new position. As would be usual among such dignitaries, personal luxuries would be of primary importance and thus we read in verse 14 that after many days, Festus finally got around to mentioning the apostle Paul to the king. Festus gave Agrippa the preliminaries on this situation and of the great concerns that the Jews in Jerusalem had with him and with his beliefs. The Jews wanted a ruling against Paul. They had already determined that he was worthy of death. They wanted the Roman government to rubber stamp their decision. The Roman government might well have done so, but God is greater than any human government. God had other plans for Paul and thus this plot against him would fail.
In verse 16 Festus made it sound like he was the one who had upheld Roman law in not allowing Paul to be killed by the Jews without due process since Paul was a Roman citizen. Politicians are known for leaving out key information and of exaggerating other matters to try to make themselves look good in the eyes of others. Festus had already heard from Paul, but did not know how to proceed with the matter. Politics was getting in the way of truth as it often does for politicians.
We see that in our country all the time. It is becoming more common all the time. The debates regarding the use of the “emergency measures act” is not about truth. It is about justifying an unjust action and using whatever means necessary to protect themselves. The opposition parties are playing games as well. The same goes for the mandates that have be used to take away people’s freedoms. All parties were in agreement with these tyrannical rules and only when it became more popular have some of the opposition parties spoken out against it.
Paul was not dependent on politics to protect him. He was trusting in God and he was patiently working within the parameters that God had established for him. As we noted already, he had been in prison on this matter now for over two years and he would spend a few more years in custody as well. God was protecting His servant and also allowing others to come to see the emptiness of what they were believing. We do not hear of many being saved through Paul’s faithfulness, but all that he met had the opportunity to hear the truth. That was the important work that Paul was called to do after salvation. When God’s people speak with conviction as Paul did, people have something serious to think about. Every person will be held accountable for the knowledge that God gives them. Romans 1:20 tells us that man will not have an excuse for his rejection of the truth. Humility is important. Choosing right is not that difficult. Pride is what keeps people from choosing right. Don’t be fooled. Believe what God says and know His peace and blessing.