Chapter Twenty-Five — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 03/26/2023Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 25:14-15 NKJV — When they had been there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying: “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix, 15 about whom the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, when I was in Jerusalem, asking for a judgment against him.
b. Festus decided to speak to Agrippa concerning Paul, since he was better acquainted with matters of Jewish religion than himself.
c. Acts 25:16-17 NKJV — To them I answered, ‘It is not the custom of the Romans to deliver any man to destruction before the accused meets the accusers face to face, and has opportunity to answer for himself concerning the charge against him.’
d. It is interesting to note that he had a better sense of justice than the Jews had.
e. The Jews killed their own Messiah, murdered Stephen, and took satisfaction in the murder of James.
f. Acts 25:18 AMPC — [But] when the accusers stood up, they brought forward no accusation [in his case] of any such misconduct as I was expecting.
g. Festus admits that the accusations brought by the Jews had no place in his courtroom.
h. Acts 25:19 AMPC — Instead they had some points of controversy with him about their own religion or superstition and concerning one Jesus, Who had died but Whom Paul kept asserting [over and over] to be alive.
i. Their points of controversy were over their own religion or superstition.
j. Superstition (Greek deisidaimonia) — in a good sense: reverencing god or the gods; pious; religious; and in a bad sense: superstitious (only used here in this verse).
k. Festus uses the word “superstition” to refer to their belief system in a purposefully ambiguous way, not wanting to reveal his own opinion concerning it.
l. The only thing Festus got out of the trial of Paul, was that there was a Jesus who had died, but Whom Paul steadfastly asserted, was alive.
m. Acts 25:20 AMPC — And I, being puzzled to know how to make inquiries into such questions, asked whether he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and there be tried regarding them.
n. Festus was perplexed, at a loss, and unable to decide concerning these questions.
o. He claimed that is why he asked Paul if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be judged concerning these matters.
p. He could not force Paul to go to Jerusalem so he asked him if he would be willing to go, to assuage his own conscience.
q. Acts 25:21 NKJV — But when Paul appealed to be reserved for the decision of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I could send him to Caesar.”
r. Augustus (Greek sebastos) – reverend; venerable; Imperial; the title of the Roman emperors after Julius Caesar; Augustan, i,e, taking its name from the emperor; a title of honor which used to be given certain legions, or cohorts, or battalions, for valor.
a. Acts 25:22 NKJV — Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”
b. Agrippa I was curious to hear from Paul himself, giving Paul an opportunity to preach the Gospel to him.
c. Acts 25:23 NKJV — So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in.
d. Pomp (Greek phantasia) – a vain show; showy appearance; display; pomp.
e. The next day, Agrippa and Bernice came in with great fanfare, and also the Roman commanders (chief captains of 1000 men), and the eminent men of the city.
f. Acts 25:24 NKJV — And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer.
g. Festus introduced Paul—this was not a trial because he would be tried in Rome.
h. Acts 25:25 NKJV — But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him.
i. Here, Festus admits and testifies to the fact that Paul was an innocent man, whom he could have set at liberty already.
j. Most likely, both Felix and Festus, were hesitant to set Paul at liberty, because they did not want the Jews to turn on them.
k. They were prepared to violate another man’s rights, to prevent or avoid an inconvenience to themselves.
l. Acts 25:26 AMPC — [However] I have nothing in particular and definite to write to my lord concerning him. So I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after [further] examination has been made, I may have something to put in writing.
m. Lord (Greek kyrios) – he to whom a person or thing belongs; about which he has power of deciding; master, Lord; the possessor or owner of a person or thing; one who has control; the sovereign; prince; chief; the Roman emperor; and a title given to God, the Messiah.
n. It is a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master.
o. Some, but not all, Roman emperors claimed or used this title.
p. Acts 25:27 NKJV — For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”
q. Unreasonable (Greek alogos) – irrational; unreasonable; destitute of reason; contrary to reason; senseless; absurd.
r. Festus was sending an innocent man up to Rome and had no clue what to write concerning the reason he was being sent up, or how to present these baseless charges against him.
s. He was not necessarily trying to do the right thing; he was just trying to cover up his own incompetency.