Bowie Apostolic Church
Acts 25: To Caesar You Shall Go
by From the Pastor's Desk on February 25th, 2013

A Very Long Ordeal

Acts 25:8 Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” 9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.” 
The saga continues in Paul’s imprisonment. Think of the tenacity of Paul, to stick this out. It has been two years. Although by the description of scripture, it is clear that Paul is in a minimum security prison situation. He is fed. He can see his friends and he has some freedom to go around, but he is still in custody. Now think of the tenacity of the Jews who still want to kill this man after two years of not even being allowed to preach the gospel to anyone in Jerusalem.

They try to convince Festus to send Paul to Rome. Their intent was to assassinate him while he was en route. However, Festus wants to do things the right way. He cannot in good conscience let him go without questioning him personally. Paul again defends himself against the false accusations against him; accusations that they are still not able to prove. He makes it clear that he has done nothing wrong and that (no doubt as a citizen of Rome) he is in the proper place to be tried. To ensure that he is not sent back to Jerusalem (where people still want to kill him), he invokes his right as a citizen to appeal to Caesar himself. This may sound like a privilege, but this is risky business. Your case is put before one person. In this case, this one person is Nero. Nero was not in any way a humane person. Nevertheless, it is Paul’s direction from the Lord Jesus Christ to go to Rome. And to Rome he will go.

This puts the final wind in the sails of Paul’s destiny. Let’s retrace this from the standpoint of his legal wrangling. He was ignored almost all of Felix’s two-year term as procurator and left for Festus to handle. Now Festus is the procurator of Judea and doesn’t know how to handle a case that is based solely upon religious differences. Festus now wants advice from Agrippa II on what he should do.

I am sure when Paul first received his call to Rome he thought it would be a few months time to get there. Little did he know that his patience would be tried. Many times we are so sure of God’s direction that our emotions fool us into thinking that God’s timing is now. Many times His direction is given to give us a milestone in our journey to fix our attention onto. This serves as sort of a north star for us to navigate with. It is great to receive the direction of God, but many don’t last through God’s timing.

As I have asked in times past, I ask again. When it comes to you and I in the will of God for our lives, our ministries and our church: Are you in it for the long haul or just the quick fix? Paul was in it for the long haul. He was in it for eternity. Let us have that mind as we move forward and work together.


Posted in Acts, Bible 2013    Tagged with Paul, caesarea, Agrippa, Festus, Caesar


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