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Bible Commentaries
Acts 25

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Grievous Complaints Against Paul Acts Twenty-Five

God wanted Paul's innocence to be proven before the world. The only thing he was guilty of was having faith in Jesus as the Christ and preaching the resurrection from the dead. The Jews seemed to increase in their hatred of Paul. They desired Festus to bring him to Jerusalem because they were planning to attack and kill him on the way. Festus was unable to do this because Paul asked to be tried by the Roman Emperor.

Paul's conduct before these rulers was that of a man bearing witness to the truth. His relationship with God was obvious as he dealt with these difficult circumstances. He had been God's faithful missionary among the Gentiles. He had preached Christ as the end of the Law. This should not have been an offense against the Jews. Yet, now he is subject to the blind hatred of these people.

Paul was a man who had great respect for the laws of the land. He would willingly accept whatever punishment he deserved for preaching Christ as man's only hope. Paul was not willing to accept injustice when there was a higher court to which he could appeal.

Agrippa and Festus both had more interest in being politicians than in serving the Creator. How sad for men like these who have had the great opportunity to be instructed concerning Christ's resurrection and man's hope and yet have rejected that hope. These rulers heard Paul not in order to learn truth but to gratify their curiosity. There was nothing certain that these rulers could charge Paul with!

Verses 1-6

The Jews desired to kill Paul Act_25:1-6 : Nero, the Roman emperor, made Festus governor of Judea. Judea was a Roman province. Three days after Festus became governor, he traveled from Caesarea to Jerusalem. When he reached Jerusalem the Jews took advantage of a new opportunity to renew their charges against Paul. They thought Festus might help the Jews in order to gain their support.

The chief priests and some Jewish leaders told him about their charges against Paul. Paul was pictured as a wicked man that had committed all kinds of evil. The Jewish leaders asked a favor of Festus desiring that he would bring Paul back to Jerusalem. They were planning to attack and kill him on his way to Jerusalem. Men will go to terrible extremes to carry out bad causes! Festus told them, that Paul would be kept at Caesarea. He said he was going there soon and the Jewish leaders could come there and present their charges against him.

Festus stayed in Jerusalem for eight or ten more days before going back to Caesarea. The next day after he reached Caesarea he sat on the bench in the court to try the case against Paul. He commanded that Paul be brought from the place where he was kept a prisoner, to the judgment hall where he would be tried.

Verses 7-12

Paul appealed to Caesar Act_25:7-12 : As soon as Paul was brought into the court the Jewish leaders crowded around him and laid many and grievous complaints against him. These were complaints which they could not prove. The reason that they could not prove their charges was that after his conversion Paul had very strictly conformed to the laws of God and man. He had not broken the Law of the Jews and he has not done anything against either the temple or Caesar. It was to Paul's honor through the grace of God, that his enemies could not make good any of the things with which they charged him. He was a good man, serving his Creator!

Festus desired to please the Jews so he asked Paul to go to Jerusalem and face these charges there. Paul said he was in the Roman court where he should be tried. He said Festus knew that he had done nothing to harm the Jewish nation. Paul said if he had committed any things worthy of death according to the Roman law then he would be willing to die. He said, "I am not guilty of any of these crimes, and no one has the right to hand me over to these people. I now ask to be tried by the Emperor himself." Festus talked it over with his council and then said to Paul, "Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go." When Festus asked Paul, "Hast thou appealed unto Caesar?" he wanted the Jews to know that the matter was now out of his hands.

Verses 13-21

King Agrippa learned about Paul Act_25:13-21 : King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. After they had been there for several days Festus told King Agrippa about the charges against Paul. He said Felix had left him in jail at Caesarea. Paul had been in jail for over two years and his case still had not been settled.

Festus explained to Agrippa that when he had taken office and gone up to Jerusalem the Jewish leaders came immediately and asked him to find Paul guilty. He made known to them that Roman law would not allow him to condemn Paul before he had the chance to meet his accusers face to face and to defend himself against their charges. Festus said, "they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive." Festus asked Paul to go to Jerusalem to be tried. Paul asked to be kept in jail until Caesar could decide his case.

Verses 22-27

Agrippa desired to hear Paul Act_25:22-27 : Agrippa was a Jew by profession. He desired to hear Paul in order to gain information about the dispute between the Jews and Christians. Festus was happy to arrange for him to hear Paul. The next day when the meeting was arranged "Agrippa and Bernice made a big show as they came into the meeting room. High ranking army officers and leading citizens of the town were also there."

When Paul was brought in Festus told Agrippa that this is the man that all the Jews are demanding that he be put to death. It was his death they sought, and nothing else would satisfy them. Lysias had earlier said, "I perceived him to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds." ( Act_23:2 ) Festus also admitted that when he examined Paul he found no crime worthy of death. However, he did feel that sense Paul was to be sent to Rome that Agrippa might help him to have some charges to write concerning him. He said, "It makes no sense to send a prisoner to the Emperor without stating the charges against him." In Acts chapter twenty-six we will hear Paul's defense before King Agrippa. Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Acts 25". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/acts-25.html. 2014.
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