Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 9th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 25

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-27

  1. INTRO:
    1. Almost - such an emotionally packed word!
      1. Who was it who almost beat Michael Phelps at the wall in the 100-meter butterfly, by 1/100th of a second? {Phelps used an extra 1/2-stroke to edge Milorad Cavic from Serbia}
      2. The US mens team almost won the 4x100 meter relay,...but Darvis Patton & Tyson Gay dropped the baton!
      3. No trophy for the “almost wins”. No cheers, no banners, No victory dance!
      4. This morning we meet the man who said to Paul, “you almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
        1. Spurgeon, “Almost persuaded to be a Christian is like a man who was almost pardoned, but he was hanged; like the man who was almost rescued, but he was burned in the house. A man that is almost saved is damned!”
        2. Setting the Stage: This will be his 5th defense of Christianity.
  2. PAUL v. PORCIUS FESTUS! (25:1-12)
    1. FESTUS! (1-12)
    2. (9) Paul knew he’d have a better chance in a den of hungry lions!
    3. (11) There are times when believers must use the law to protect themselves & ministry.
    4. (12) He’s got a ticket to ride!
  3. PAUL v. HEROD AGRIPPA & BERNICE! (25:13-26:32)
    1. ​​​​​​​Setting the Stage: This will be his 6th & final defense of Christianity.
      1. In custody for 2 years, has endured 5 trials, still not charged with any crime!
      2. Paul carefully aims the gospel message toward King Agrippa, hoping to win him to Christ.
    2. POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE! (25:13-27)
    3. Bernice - Did you know that Drusilla Deville (from last ch) & Bernice were sisters?
      1. Actually, they were very evil sisters. [Drusilla was younger & much more beautiful]
      2. Bernice - known for her incestuous conduct. 1st husband was her uncle Herod of Chalcis; then historians record the scandalous relationship w/her brother King Agrippa here. To hush rumors she marries King Ptolemy of Sicily, but after a few years wearied of him, returned to her brother. (Edith Dean; All the Women of the Bible.)
    4. (23) Pomp - pageantry, literally φαντασία/phantasia meaning “show, display”.
      1. Contrast - Paul was brought in. Irony! Paul, an heir of the very kingdom of heaven, w/ the freedom the Son of God granted to him, must stand before this pretentious, immoral court in chains. (Charles Swindoll; Acts; pg.126.)
    5. (24-27) Festus opens the case by explaining his purpose for arranging this hearing.
    6. (27) Here’s what I have so far for the Emperor, “Here’s Paul. He’s on trial for...well, nothing I particular!” Festus hopes Agrippa, being a Jew & knowing religious issues, would help him to write something reasonable to Nero.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Acts 25". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/acts-25.html. 2017.
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