Paul Appears before Festus: Acts 25:1-12.
Historians suggest that in A.D. 58 Felix was replaced by Festus. He was a more honorable governor than Felix. Three days after Festus had arrived in Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem. Upon his arrival the chief priest and other leaders made their accusation against Paul before him. They asked Festus a favor to transfer Paul to Jerusalem. They planned to kill Paul on his way. But Festus replied that Paul was at Caesarea and he himself would be returning there soon. If there is anything wrong about Paul, you can bring your charges against Paul before the judgment seat there. Eight days later Festus went down to Caesarea. Jewish leaders made many false accusations against Paul before Festus. Paul denied them all and said that he is not guilty of any crime. When Festus asked “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there” Paul replied “No this is the Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here”. Paul was willing to accept the penalty of death if he had done anything worthy of death. Realizing the anger of Jews, Paul appealed to Caesar. Then Festus replied “To Caesar you have appealed, to Caesar you shall go” (25:12). God was in control of Paul’s life and ministry. Paul desired to take the gospel to Rome but God used this unfair legal battle to take him there. Paul was unfairly imprisoned in Caesarea for two years (19:21; 24:27). Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen and seized the opportunity to appeal his case to Caesar. This guaranteed his journey to Rome. God knows exactly what he is doing with our lives. He does all things to accomplish His purposes and we can count on His wisdom and faithfulness.
Paul’s before Agrippa: Acts 25:13-27.
Few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to greet Festus. During their stay, Festus discussed Paul’s case with king Agrippa. Festus explained how Paul had been left there by Felix. Upon hearing about Paul, Agrippa wanted to hear him. Festus replied “You will hear him tomorrow”. Agrippa controlled most part of Palestine and familiar with the Jewish law and customs. Because of the lack of understanding of Jewish matters, Festus had difficulty to explain to the emperor why he was sending Paul to him. He asked King Agrippa to hear the case so that he could understand the changes against Paul. So the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived at the auditorium, accompanied by military officers and leaders of the city. Festus ordered Paul to be brought in. Festus and King Agrippa found nothing deserving death in Paul. However since he appealed to the emperor he decided to send Paul to Rome. Festus thought he might find something to write after he and the king examine Paul. For it makes no sense to send a prisoner to the emperor without indicating the charges against him. Often we do not understand why God allows difficulties in life? Because of Paul's imprisonment, he was able to share the gospel with Felix, Festus and king Agrippa. God does all things to fulfill His purpose in our lives. Pray that God would use your present situation for the furtherance of the gospel.