Paul has now been under arrest for 2 years in the palace at Cesarea. Once again the high priest and the leaders want to ambush and murder him and they see an opportunity when the Roman leadership changes from Felix to Festus. God foils the first attempt to get Paul by having Festus invite the Jewish entourage to Cesarea.
A new trial is arranged. The Jewish folks don’t have a case. Paul stays focused on the issue and then appeals his case to Caesar. Rome, here we come.
Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law 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?” Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” Acts 25:8-12 NIV
The case and the person of Paul and this new sect called the way, and the followers called little christs ( Christians) has gained some celebrity status and Paul is brought out to share his story with King Agrippa and Bernice who were the grandchildren of Herod the Great.
Tomorrow in Acts 26 we will look at what he has to say. Today we will marvel at how God, amidst threats of death arranged an audience with the Rulers of Judea so Paul will be able to be witness of The life changing power of Jesus. These are the grandchildren of the King that tried to kill Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem.
Sometimes I have felt like I’ve lost my way, like I’m I am isolated and shuttered away but God is always there even if I don’t feel him or see him. Even if I’ve failed him. What I get from this passage is though Paul is in jail God is still using him. It may have seemed to Paul that life was off course but he shared Jesus wherever he was. That’s what I want too. We are where we are, Gods knows it and can use us.