Acts 25

Chapter twenty-five introduces two more officials to whom Paul was able to preach (Acts 9:15). After only two weeks in office, Festus agreed to take up Paul’s case (Acts 25:1-12). The Jews in Jerusalem had already tried to get Festus to transfer Paul back to Jerusalem so they could kill him, but he insisted that all their business take place in Caesarea. Once again Paul’s accusers could produce no proof of their accusations against him, while Paul simply stated his innocence. When Festus seemed inclined to transfer him back to Jerusalem for another trial, Paul had enough and exercised his right as a Roman citizen to appeal his case to Caesar himself.

Luke’s detail of the proceedings is fascinating and reminds us these were real people, not fictional characters of a story. Acts 25:13-22 records a conversation between Festus and King Agrippa, during which Festus talked about Paul’s case and asked Agrippa for advice. Agrippa wanted to hear Paul for himself, and Festus’ obliged. Like the commanding officer (Acts 23:26-30), Festus exaggerated the reason for this additional hearing with Agrippa. He claimed he needed a second opinion to give cause to send Paul to Caesar, and Agrippa would counsel him on the matter.