Lord Jesus, give me the humility to know my limitations and in my weakness to turn to You.
Read Acts 25:13–22
Festus Consults King Agrippa
13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. He said: “There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and asked that he be condemned.
16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges. 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”
He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever shared the Gospel with someone in authority?
It’s not often that a political leader admits that they don’t know what to do (20). But when King Agrippa (the brother-in-law of Felix!) arrived on a state visit (13), Festus took the opportunity to get some advice about Paul. He had a double problem: he didn’t get the Jews’ religion and if he didn’t understand that, he certainly didn’t understand the Way, as Christianity was known (24:14).
When the Jews asked Festus to hand Paul over to them it was an easy decision—no, or at least not yet. The Romans insisted that a person had to be able to face their accusers and defend themselves. But when Paul did that, Festus was shocked. Instead of crimes against the state, Paul was only being accused of religious offences. And Festus heard about the central point of dispute: “a dead man named Jesus whom Paul claimed was alive” (19).
All of this aroused the curiosity of Agrippa (22), just as Jesus had intrigued Herod Antipas, his great uncle (Luke 9:9; 23:8). Can you imagine your leaders being intrigued by the Gospel?
Do you know who your local and federal leaders are? If not, find out today so that you can make a habit of praying for them.
My God, I ask that You would enable my leaders “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [You,] God” (Mic. 6:8).
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