Acts Chapter 25

July 28, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 25 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 25:1-27 (NIV)
1 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, 2 where the chief priests and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 3 They urgently requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. 4 Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. 5 Let some of your leaders come with me and press charges against the man there, if he has done anything wrong.” 6 After spending eight or ten days with them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him. 7 When Paul appeared, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove. 8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” 9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?” 10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” 12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” 13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned. 16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over any man before he has faced his accusers and has had an opportunity to defend himself against their charges. 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 When Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.” 23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high ranking officers and the leading men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death, but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write. 27 For I think it is unreasonable to send on a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”

Acts 25:1

Festus arrives on the scene to take over for Felix. He seems to take his role pretty seriously, because within 3 days he goes and visits Jerusalem, which was known to be a volatile city.

Acts 25:2-3

While he is there, the Jewish leaders ask if he wouldn’t please do them a favor by sending Paul to Jerusalem to respond to their charges. Which was a lie, they just wanted to get him where they could kill him. Again, the irony of the law enforcers breaking the law is evident.

Acts 25:4-5

Festus does not grant their request, but invites the Jewish leaders to come to Caesarea and he will personally hear the case

Acts 25:6-7

This trial is very similar to the previous trials. The Jewish leaders are hurling accusations at Paul that they can’t prove. Add lying to their desire to kill Paul. Who is the lawbreaker here?

Acts 25:8-9

Paul gives a brief statement saying once again that he had done nothing wrong. Festus asks Paul how he would feel about going back to Jerusalem for another trial.

Acts 25:10

Paul realizes this is another trap. The 40 Jews who had taken an oath to kill him, (they had most likely figured out a way to get out of the oath that we won’t eat until we kill him) were still looking to get him. There is no way Paul can get a fair trial in Jerusalem. He has already been a prisoner for two years in Caesarea. So, Paul appeals to Caesar.

Acts 25:11-12

Festus sees this as a way out of this mess for himself, and says, to Caesar you will go.

Acts 25:13

This King Agrippa is the son of King Herod that had James, the brother of John killed and had put Peter in prison back in Acts 12

Acts 12:1 (NIV)
1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

And he is grandson of Herod the Great from the gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 2:1 (NIV)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

King Agrippa would have been about 30 at this time. He had favor with Rome and was allowed to appoint the Jewish High priest as well as oversee the temple treasury. He would have been well acquainted with the Jews religion. Bernice was his sister and his girlfriend.

Acts 25:14-21

Festus decides to talk over the Paul issue with King Agrippa. I like this part of the discussion:

Acts 25:18-21 (NIV)
18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 When Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Acts 25:22

Agrippa wants to hear from Paul personally.

Acts 25:23-24

Agrippa and Bernice get all dressed up along with the high ranking officers and leading men of the city and Paul is brought in.

Acts 25:25-27

Verse 25 is important because it shows that Festus, just like Felix before him, found that Paul had done nothing deserving of death. Festus couldn’t send Paul to Caesar with no clear charges against him, so he was hoping that Agrippa and the other high ranking officials could help him write a letter of charges that Caesar could consider.

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  1. Dawn Ward says:

    Steve – Thanks for making “A Jesus Moment” available on the web. I get a lot out of them. You were instrumental in helping me grow and John)in our walk with the Lord. Thank you. I miss all of you at the Vineyard. You have been a blesing in my life. Dawn Ward

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