New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me
PAUL AND FESTUS (Acts 25:1-27)
By Wayne S. Walker
After being arrested in Jerusalem and transferred to Caesarea, Paul was left in prison for two years until Felix was replaced as governor of Judea by Porcius Festus. After taking office, Festus went up to Jerusalem where the high priest and other leaders of the Jews renewed their accusations against Paul. They asked that Paul be brought to Jerusalem, intending to have people lying in wait along the way to ambush and kill him. Festus probably knew nothing about this plot, but he told them that Paul would remain at Caesarea and that they could come there to make their charges.
Some ten days later, Festus returned to Caesarea and the next day brought Paul before the judgment seat. The Jews who had come laid their charges against him, but Paul answered that he was innocent and that they could not prove their accusations. Festus wanted to do the Jews a favor, so he asked if Paul would be willing to go to Jerusalem and be judged there. Paul knew that he could never get justice in Jerusalem, so he appealed to Caesar, which was his right as a Roman citizen. He even said that if it could be proven that he had committed any serious crimes he would not be afraid to suffer punishment but again claimed total innocence.
A few days later, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Felix. The governor explained to the king about Paul’s situation and told him that Paul was being kept until he could be sent to Rome. Agrippa expressed a desire to hear Paul, and Felix agreed to another hearing the next day, this time with Agrippa present. The king and Bernice came with great pomp into the auditorium. The governor began the proceedings by saying that hoped to learn something that would enable him to be more specific in listing the charges against a prisoner whom he was sending to Caesar.
- Who was the new governor of Judea?
- Why did the Jewish leaders want Paul brought to Jerusalem?
- What was the response of the governor to this request?
- How many days later did the governor return to Caesarea?
- In trying to show the Jews a favor, where did the governor ask if Paul would go?
- To whom did Paul appeal?
- What king came to greet the governor?
- What was the name of this king’s wife?
- Why did the governor agree to another hearing of Paul with this king?