Dr. Jimmy Allen, former pastor of First Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas told the following story. “A dark-skinned little boy sat through Sunday School classes for three years in our church but someone missed the opportunity to reach him. His name was Sirhan Sirhan, and … More
Paul chained to a Roman soldier, abandoned by the Jerusalem Church, and frail in bodily appearance, (II Cor. 10:10) was brought before Festus, Agrippa and Bernice (v. 23). Festus then ordered Paul to be brought in and told King Agrippa and other guests that Jews from Jerusalem and Caesarea have come to him, demanding that he be put to death (v. 24). I have not found him guilty of any crime deserving death. But because he has asked to be judged by the Emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome (v. 25). It was evident that Paul is innocent according to Roman laws. Every time his religious liberties had been questioned, Roman courts across the Empire had ruled in his favor. But Paul didn’t complain about his unfair situation of prison or trial. Here was another opportunity to present the Gospel, and he wanted to make the most of the situation, to serve the Lord and share Him with others. Rather than complain about our present situation we need to look for ways to use every opportunity to serve Christ and share Him with others. Our problems may be opportunities in disguise.
The problem Festus faced was a religious one. The most sensible thing for Festus to have done would have been to set Paul free, with a promise that in the future he would stay out of Jerusalem and Judea, then he would have given him a military escort out of the country. However it was too late now, as Paul had already appealed to Caesar. He had no recourse but to send the prisoner to Caesar’s judgment seat. Festus’ dilemma was how to write some facts about this man to the Emperor (v. 26). He brought all of these people and King Agrippa together to help draft a letter. It makes no sense to send a prisoner to the Emperor without stating the charges against him (v. 27).
Like the apostle Paul, I would like for any problems that I may have in life to be turned into opportunities to share the gospel and to reach out to others in need. My situations in life may change but each change will provide new opportunities, and I want to use these for His glory.
So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him."
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Acts 22:1-5Paul Defense of His Heritage and Ministry
Acts 22:6-16Paul’s Salvation Testimony
Acts 22:17-21The Jewish Crowd’s Prejudice Against Gentiles
Acts 22:22-30Paul–A Roman Citizen
Acts 23:1-5Respect is Always Appropriate
Acts 23:6-11Comfort In Times of Trial
Acts 23:12-22A Plot to Kill Paul
Acts 23:23-35God’s Timing is Very Evident to Paul
Acts 24:1-9Paul’s Response vs. Reaction to Charges
Acts 24:10-21Paul’s Defense Before Felix
Acts 24:22-27Concern from Paul’s Friends & Foes
Acts 25:1-7Paul’s Roman Trial–Festus Hears False Accusations
Acts 25:8-12Paul’s Appeal to Caesar’s Roman Courtroom
Acts 25:13-22Festus Consults Agrippa for a Second Opinion
Acts 25:23-27Paul’s Opportunity to Face Agrippa & Company
Acts 26:1-11Paul to Agrippa–Honesty is the Best Policy
Acts 26:12-23Paul’s Purpose Changed to God’s Purpose
Acts 26:24-32God’s Truth Brings Conviction to Agippa’s Heart
Acts 27:1-12Paul’s Advice – Initially Rejected
Acts 27:13-26Peace In the Midst of The Storm
Acts 27:27-44Peer Pressure Adds to the Present Peril
Acts 28:1-6Crisis Averted–God’s Will for Paul is Evident
Acts 28:7-10Paul Faith Validates God’s Work in their Midst
Acts 28:11-16Paul–Steadfast to God’s Purpose For His Life
Acts 28:17-22Paul’s Opportunity to Preach in Rome
Acts 28:23-31The Urgency of Giving the Gospel To the World