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Festus Consults Agrippa for a Second Opinion

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In the early days of the Southern Confederacy, General Robert E. Lee was severely criticized by General Whiting. It might have been expected that Lee would wait for a time when he could get even with Whiting. A day came when President Jefferson Davis asked General Lee to come for … More

Consultation

Festus was in a difficult position because he had to make a report of Paul’s case to Caesar, and he realized that he was innocent. If Festus had really been interested in justice, he could have asked Paul for witnesses. Paul could have furnished him with the names of thousands of people all across the empire who could have testified to his practice and character. Festus situation was relieved somewhat by a visit from King Herod Agrippa II and his sister Bernice.  Agrippa was ruler over an insignificant kingdom to the north and east of Caesarea, which was known as Caesarea-Philippi (v. 13). He was also the son of the Herod who arrested Peter and murdered James. He was living with his own sister Bernice who had been married to his Uncle, but had died. Bernice was also a sister of Drusilla, the wife of Felix.

Festus, knowing Agrippa had the most intimate knowledge of Jewish faith and practice, welcomed the opportunity to share Paul’s care with him (vv. 14-21). Maybe Agrippa could help him to frame a cover letter that must accompany Paul to Rome and Caesar. Festus was perplexed. His hope of making points with the Jewish leaders by giving in to them had boomeranged. When Agrippa said he would be glad to hear Paul, Festus was no doubt gratified (v.22).

Application

When I have a difficult decision to make, who do I usually consult? Why? Do I try to find people who I know will side in with what I want to do or with what the Lord wants me to do? The big question is....Do I always seek the Lord’s will in the matter?

Acts 25:13-22 (English Standard Version)

Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man left prisoner by Felix, and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar." Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," said he, "you will hear him."

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