The Way - Day 129 (Acts 25)

Daily Reading:
Acts 25
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
What does it reveal to you about God, knowing that He used these worldly rulers to carry forth His plans for Gospel advancement?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 46:10
OPTION 2: Proverbs 18:10
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:5-6
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Acts 25 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Acts 25
Paul has experienced much hardship over the last several weeks. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Paul was arrested in the temple (21:26-29), taken captive by the Roman government (21:30-36), defended himself before angry Jews (21:37-22:29), and then made another defense before the Sanhedrin (22:30-23:10). None of the people who listened to Paul were satisfied with his defense which ultimately stemmed from their utter hatred for the message he preached. So many people were embracing the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and therefore turning their back on obtaining God's favor through obedience to the law of Moses. Although Paul was always respectful to Jewish law and never encouraged people to disobey it, he taught that adherence to the law could not bring salvation. However, the Jews would not tolerate what they considered to be an undermining of their religious system.

Paul was eventually sent to the governor Felix's house to be imprisoned, but in reality his imprisonment was for his own safety as a Jewish mob had formed to bring an end to Paul's life(23:11-35). Imprisoned in the house of Felix, Paul's accusers finally arrived but nothing was settled so he spent the next two years being held there (24:27). Festus succeeded Felix as governor and upon familiarizing himself with his province he traveled to Jerusalem (25:1). In Jerusalem he spoke with the high priest and chief men of the Jews who were obviously still bitter against Paul (25:2). Since they had not succeeded in their appeals to Felix, they decided to try their luck with the new governor. Luke writes that these men asked Festus for a favor which involved a plot to kill Paul (25:3); however, Festus did not give in and invited them to come to Caesarea to bring a charge against him (25:3-5). After more than ten days in Jerusalem Festus returned to Caesarea commanding Paul to be brought to him (25:6). The Jews began bringing many charges against Paul, but they could not prove anything that they were saying (25:7-8).

Wanting to do the Jews a favor, Festus asked Paul if he was willing to go to Jerusalem to be judged concerning the charges against him (25:9); but Paul declared his right as a Roman citizen to be judged in Rome, not Jerusalem (25:10-11). After conferring with the council, Festus agrees to send Paul to Rome (25:12). Several days later, King Agrippa and his sister Bernice come to greet Festus in Caesarea (25:13) and he informs them of Paul's case (25:14a). Festus declares, "There is a certain man left a prisoner of Felix, about whom the chief priests and the elders informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him" (25:14b-15). Festus goes on to explain that it is not customary for Romans to sentence a man to punishment or death before he has had a chance to face his accusers, so he invited the Jews to bring charges against him (25:16). Festus then informs King Agrippa that the Jews brought nothing worthy of punishment or death for Paul, but that the dispute rested in "questions against him [Paul] about their own religion, and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive" (25:17-19). King Agrippa decided that he would also like to hear this man, Paul, so the next day he was brought into the auditorium (25:22-23).