ACTS 25 - PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE FESTUS

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


Paul has been left in prison by Felix as a favor to the Jews. He will now have to be tried by the new Roman procurator Festus.

The Accession of Festus

A. The request of the Jews - Acts 25:1-3

Festus therefore, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul; and they were urging him, requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). (Acts 25:1-3)

B. The reply of Festus - Acts 25:4-6

Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly. "Therefore," he said^, "let the influential men among you go there with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them prosecute him." And after he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea; and on the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. (Acts 25:4-6)

The Arraignment of Paul

A. The accusation of the Jews - Acts 25:7

And after he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove; (Acts 25:7)

B. The answer of Paul - Acts 25:8

while Paul said in his own defense, "I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar." (Acts 25:8)

C. The attitude of Festus - Acts 25:9

But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?" (Acts 25:9)

D. The appeal to Caesar - Acts 25:10-12

But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. "If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, "You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go." (Acts 25:10-12)

The Arrival of Agrippa

A. The problems of the case explained - Acts 25:13-21

Now when several days had elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and paid their respects to Festus. And while they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation upon him. "And I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face, and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges. "And so after they had assembled here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal, and ordered the man to be brought. "And when the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting; but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. "And being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters. "But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar." (Acts 25:13-21)

B. The prospect of a new trial decided - Acts 25:22-23

And Agrippa said to Festus, "I also would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said^, "you shall hear him." And so, on the next day when Agrippa had come together with Bernice, amid great pomp, and had entered the auditorium accompanied by the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. (Acts 25:22-23)

C. The purpose of the trial presented - Acts 25:24-27

And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you behold this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer. "But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. "Yet I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write. "For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him." (Acts 25:24-27)

Study Questions

1. Why did the Jews want Paul to go to Jerusalem? - Acts 25:3

requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). (Acts 25:3)

2. Why were both Felix and Festus so anxious to please the Jews? - Acts 24:27 and Acts 25:9

But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned. (Acts 24:27)

But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?" (Acts 25:9)

3. What was the significance of Paul’s appeal to Caesar? - Acts 25:11-12

"If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, "You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go." (Acts 25:11-12)

4. Why was Festus surprised at the charges against Paul? - Acts 25:18-19

"And when the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting; but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. (Acts 25:18-19)

5. Why was King Agrippa interested in hearing Paul? - Acts 25:22

And Agrippa said to Festus, "I also would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said^, "you shall hear him." (Acts 25:22)

6. Do you see any differences between Felix and Festus?

7. Does the question of the resurrection of Christ continue to be an important issue?


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