Acts of the Apostles – 25

The Inspired History




  1. Paul Appears Before Porcius Festus (1-12).
    1. Festus visits Jerusalem after replacing Felix (1-5).
    2. Paul testifies before Festus and the Jews (6-8).
    3. Paul appeals to Caesar for protection (9-12)
  2. Paul Appears Before King Agrippa (13-27).
    1. Festus explains Paul’s situation to Agrippa (13-22).
    2. Festus introduces Paul to Agrippa (23-27).

The Sense and Meaning

  1. After replacing Felix as province governor, Festus traveled to Jerusalem from Caesarea (Acts 25:1-5).
    1. The rabid Jews confront Festus directly, though more than two years have transpired.
      1. Even though Paul is in prison, the Jews profanely crave his innocent blood.
      2. The high priest and chief of the Jews conspire to kill Paul contrary to the law.
      3. The wicked have hated the righteous from the time of Cain and Abel forward.
    2. The Lord protects Paul in Caesarea by the decision of Festus to leave him there.
  2. Paul defends himself again against the false accusations of the bloodthirsty Jews (Acts 25:6-8).
    1. There was no rest for Festus in his new office; the next day he had to judge Paul.
    2. As usual with the wicked and heretics, they could not prove any of their many charges.
      1. If they cannot find one charge with proof, they multiply charges to overwhelm.
      2. It is our duty as the sons of God to be without rebuke in this world (Phil 2:14-16; I Pet 2:11-12; 3:16; Rom 12:17; I Thess 5:22; I Tim 5:14; Titus 2:4-5,7-8).
      3. Our Lord gave us such an example, for He had no fault in Him (John 19:4,6).
      4. It is good to be without offence against God or the government (Acts 23:1; 24:16).
  3. Paul appealed to Caesar for protection, when Festus seeks to please the Jews (Acts 25:9-12).
    1. The Lord used the political heart of Festus to dare Paul to stand trial in Jerusalem.
      1. Never forget that the hearts of all men are in the hand of the Lord (Prov 21:1).
      2. The Lord could have delivered Paul from Festus, but He chose not to do so.
      3. No wrath or sin on the part of any man ever thwarts God’s will (Psalm 76:10).
    2. Paul boldly appealed to Caesar for protection from Festus and the Jews’ conspiracy.
      1. Paul boldly confesses he has done no wrong and would accept legal judgment.
      2. Paul shows us, by the Holy Spirit, to use the laws to our defense when needed.
      3. We are a registered church, and we are not ashamed to be so at this time.
      4. Our registration allows government subsidy by tax deductibility of giving.
      5. Should Jacob and his sons have refused financial aid from Pharaoh and Egypt?
      6. Should David and Solomon have refused aid from Hiram, king of Tyre?
      7. Should Nehemiah and Ezra have refused financial aid from the King of Persia?
      8. God has ordained kings and queens to nurse his churches (Isaiah 49:23).
      9. When our tax law subsidizes “ministers of the gospel,” we should give thanks!
      10. When our government tries to interrupt our duties to Christ, we will resist.
      11. Consider that Paul appealed to Caesar – he was no George W. Bush.
      12. Truth – the fruit of the Spirit – has a proper attitude toward civil authority.
    3. Festus and his council, bound by the higher law themselves, submitted to the appeal.
      1. Festus could not turn him over to the Jews, for Roman law forbade it.
      2. He would not make judgment himself, for he would displease the unruly Jews.
      3. So he was likely pleased with this turn of events to be free of this controversy.
  4. Festus explains Paul’s situation to King Agrippa, when he came into the province (Acts 25:13-22).
    1. This Agrippa is Herod Agrippa II, son and successor to the worm-eaten Herod (Acts 12:23).
    2. Bernice was his sister, who had married her uncle and lived with her brother in incest.
    3. Governor Porcius Festus tells Paul’s situation from Felix to King Herod Agrippa II.
      1. We see in his words some of the fairness of the Roman law for criminals.
      2. Festus, profane as most Romans, calls the Jews religion a superstition, though he likely did not denigrate it too much, since Agrippa was a Jew.
      3. Festus believed that Jesus was dead – likely by Paul’s account, aggressive Jewish testimony, and readily available Roman history.
      4. For Paul surely confessed His death, but He also affirmed His resurrection.
      5. The matter of our Lord’s resurrection is mere superstition to the natural man.
    4. Augustus is a term of reverence (the august one) applied to various caesars (Luke 2:1).
    5. Octavianus was the emperor in John’s day; and Nero was the emperor at this time.
    6. King Agrippa asks to hear Paul himself, and Festus gives a hearing for the next day.
  5. Festus introduces Paul to Agrippa and all those present at this conspicuous hearing (Acts 25:23-27).
    1. Festus modestly admits the pressure the bloodthirsty Jews had applied already to him.
    2. Knowing Agrippa is better suited to examine Paul, Festus hopes to formalize a charge.