Introduction Having appealed his case to Caesar, Paul probably felt both an assurance that Christ’s promise to him (Acts 23:11, that he would bear witness for Him in Rome) would be fulfilled and an eagerness to be on his way (Acts 19:21). However, the wheels of the Roman government moved slowly. Festus had to arrange transportation for his prisoner and prepare the proper papers stating the charges against Paul. As Paul waited in prison in Caesarea, he would have another opportunity to preach the gospel — this time to a king, thus fulfilling another promise made to him by the Lord (Acts 9:15, that he would bear Christ’s name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel). While Paul was still in Festus’ custody, Herod Agrippa II, son of Herod Agrippa I of Acts 12, arrived in Caesarea to welcome Festus as the new governor. Festus took advantage of this opportunity to explain Paul’s case to the king, hoping to benefit from his knowledge and experience in dealing with the Jews. Both Festus and Agrippa heard more than they really desired when Paul was called to give his defense. As always, Paul was filled with enthusiasm as he defended his faith. It was his heart’s desire that all who heard his message might come to Christ (26:29), and he clearly spoke from the depths of his heart. Outline of Acts 25:13 - 26:32 I. Agrippa Visits Caesarea - Acts 25:13-27 II. Agrippa Hears Paul’s Message - Acts 26:1-23 III. Agrippa and Festus Respond - Acts 26:24-32 I. Agrippa Visits Caesarea - Acts 25:13-27 As ruler of the territories of northeast Palestine, King Agrippa paid a courtesy visit to the new governor of Caesarea. He brought with him Bernice, his sister, whom he also presented as his queen. Bernice had been married and widowed twice before, and many believe that she was now having an incestuous relationship with her brother. A. Festus presents Paul’s case to Agrippa - Acts 25:13-21 After Agrippa had been in Caesarea many days, Festus sought his help in preparing the specific written charges against Paul required to transfer him to Rome. Agrippa was the perfect person to consult. Besides having greater authority than Festus, he was a practicing Jew and had some influence over Jewish affairs. Because of his Jewish background, the Roman government had given him the responsibility of appointing the Jewish high priest and of presiding over the affairs of the temple treasury in Jerusalem. Agrippa was familiar with the Jewish religion and would understand the intricacies of the case better than Festus, a Gentile. Festus reviewed Paul’s case in a clear and orderly way. 1. Paul had been a prisoner of Felix - 25:13-15 Festus had acquired the case from the previous governor, Felix, who had left Paul in prison as a favor to the Jews. The Jewish chief priests and elders had brought the case to his attention during his visit to Jerusalem, and had asked him to pass sentence on Paul. 2. Festus was prepared to judge promptly - 25:16-17 Festus had reminded the Jews that Roman law required the accused be allowed to give his defense in the presence of his accusers before judgment was passed. The very next day Festus had taken his place on the judgment seat to hear Paul’s defense. 3. Accusations were of a religious nature - 25:18-20 Because the Jews had asked for a sentence of condemnation (NASB 25:15 and 25:26), Festus had expected them to present proof of crimes Paul had committed. However, the charges turned out to be disputes over their own religion and over Jesus’ death and resurrection. Festus knew little of Jewish religion and was not sure how to handle the case. He had suggested that Paul go to Jerusalem for judgment. 4. Paul appealed to Caesar - 25:21 When presented with the possibility of returning to Jerusalem, Paul had appealed to Augustus. (Augustus means the revered or august one. It had been the name of the first Roman emperor, but was now applied to all Roman emperors.) Festus had retained Paul in custody and was now waiting to send him to the emperor Nero. B. Agrippa requests to hear Paul - Acts 25:22 Agrippa had probably heard about Paul’s reputation and wanted to hear first hand what he had to say. Festus eagerly responded to Agrippa’s request, Tomorrow you shall hear him. C. Paul brought before Agrippa - Acts 25:23-27 The very next day the imprisoned apostle faced the king. (See Mark 13:9 and Acts 9:15.) 1. Agrippa’s pomp - 25:23 Agrippa and Bernice put on quite a display as they entered the auditorium where they would m

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