Tag: appeal to Caesar

Standing before kings

Scripture reading for May 10th: Acts 25

Key Scriptures: Acts 25:9-12 “But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.””

Paul had been in Roman custody for over two years. A new governor, Festus, came into power and wanted to get on the good side of the Jews and sought to arrange a trial for Paul in Jerusalem. The Jews there were still wanting to kill Paul and had plotted how they would if he came back to Jerusalem. Paul was a Roman citizen and when asked where he wanted tried, asked to continue his trial under Roman jurisdiction, even appealing to Caesar himself. This was all part of God’s plan to have Paul stand before Roman authorities and to preach in Rome, transported there at government expense. It is not always our way of accomplishing God’s will, like Paul, we must be open to unusual routes and ways to witness of Jesus before those God is desiring to reach!

Mark 13:9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, to bear witness before them.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Your ways are above our ways. You always prepare Your followers for what will come and make a way for them to accomplish Your work of witness to all the lost. Make me bold today and attentive to Your thoughts and ways.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

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Religious disputes!

Scripture reading for June 9th:  Acts 25

Politics and religion are ways of the world that men use to gain control over others.  It was no different in Paul’s day. After he had spent two years in jail as a result of a politician, the Roman governor Felix, a new leader took his place.   Felix kept Paul, looking for a bribe.  Now as the new governor, Festus, visited Jerusalem he was confronted by the Jews concerning the prisoner Paul.  They felt he should die because of their original charges and Festus offered them opportunity to again make their case.

Festus convened the hearing in Caesarea.    “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.”   Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.”  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?”  (Acts 25:7-9)  Paul stated that he was willing to die if he had done anything worthy of death, but as a Roman citizen, he appealed to Caesar.  Festus declared that that was where he would be sent!

Festus was visited by King Agrippa and his wife.  Festus shared Paul’s case with the king and discussed the lack of clear charges with him.  “When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected.  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.”  (Acts 25:18-19)  In the midst of political and religious disputes, God was at work through Paul sharing the good news with all!

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Paul’s appeal to Caesar!

Scripture reading for July 7th: Acts 25:1-27

After two years in jail awaiting a decision from governor Felix,  Festus replaced Felix and was again approached by the Jews to have Paul brought to Jerusalem for a trial.  They again had plans to ambush him and kill him as he was being transported.  Old habits die hard!   I wonder how the men with the vow had gone without eating or drinking for that amount of time!  (Acts 23:21)

Festus again set a time for a trial and invited the Jews to come and press charges at the court in Caesarea.  Again the Jews made charges that they could not prove.  Paul again reiterated that he had done nothing against their law, temple or against Caesar.  (Acts 25:8)  Again, Festus asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem to face their charges.  Paul declined and because he was a Roman citizen, appealed to Caesar!  Festus granted his plea and the Jews went away empty-handed!  Paul’s call to preach at Rome had been granted with an all-expense paid trip there!

As the details were being worked out, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came by Caesarea to visit Festus.  They discussed Paul’s situation and the King asked to hear Paul.  Festus arranged this meeting for he hoped to have some better charges to accompany Paul to give to Caesar.

We can see how patience is required of God’s servants as God works out details and brings about His purposes.  Where God guides, He provides!  He had planned and revealed to Paul that he would stand before the Gentiles and their kings.  (Acts 9:15)   He would also stand as a witness to the nation of Israel.  In confronting the leaders of the Sanhedrin before the court of Felix and now Festus, Paul had opportunity to share the Gospel and his testimony of God’s saving grace in his own life.  Some were saved and others were lost because of their hard hearts.

Are you patiently waiting and praying for every opportunity to share the Gospel?  Do you complain when things don’t go as you hoped or seem to try your patience?  Ask God to show you how to listen to Him and fulfill your calling in the midst of the trying circumstances!   God knows every detail of our lives and will work them out for our good and His glory!

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The Appeal to Caesar!

Scripture reading for July 7th: Acts 25:1-27

After two years in jail awaiting a decision from governor Felix,  Festus replaced Felix and was again approached by the Jews to have Paul brought to Jerusalem for a trial.  They again had plans to ambush him and kill him as he was being transported.  Old habits die hard!   I wonder how the men with the vow had gone without eating or drinking for that amount of time!  (Acts 23:21)

Festus again set a time for a trial and invited the Jews to come and press charges at the court in Caesarea.  Again the Jews made charges that they could not prove.  Paul again reiterated that he had done nothing against their law, temple or against Caesar.  (Acts 25:8)  Again, Festus asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem to face their charges.  Paul declined and because he was a Roman citizen, appealed to Caesar!  Festus granted his plea and the Jews went away empty-handed again!  Paul’s call to preach at Rome had been granted with an all-expense paid trip there!

As the details were being worked out, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came by Caesarea to visit Festus.  They discussed Paul’s situation and the King asked to hear Paul.  Festus arranged this meeting for he hoped to have some better charges to accompany Paul to give to Caesar.

We can see how in all of this, patience is required of God’s servants as God works out details and brings about His purposes.  Where God guides, He provides!  He had planned and revealed to Paul that he would stand before the Gentiles and their kings.  (Acts 9:15)   He would also stand as a witness to the nation of Israel.  In confronting the leaders of the Sanhedrin before the court of Felix and now Festus, Paul had opportunity to share the Gospel and his testimony of God’s saving grace in his own life.  Some were saved and others were lost because of their hard hearts.

Are you patiently waiting and praying for every opportunity to share the Gospel?  Do you complain when things don’t go as you hoped or seem to try your patience?  Ask God to show you how to listen to Him and fulfill your calling in the midst of the trying circumstances!

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