Acts 25:1–12 (NKJV)
1 Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, 3 asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. 4 But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. 5 “Therefore,” he said, “let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.”Acts 25:1-12
6 And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought. 7 When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, 8 while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”
9 But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”
10 So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. 11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!”
Festus began his rule by going to Jerusalem to confer with the Jewish leadership there, the Jews being the major constituents of his region. They requested that Paul be brought to Jerusalem for further deliberation. Of all the things the council could have asked the new governor, they asked for an opportunity to attempt harm toward Paul. This hatred they had for Paul was obsessive! Perhaps due to the instruction of Felix, or else the warning of the commander Lysias, Festus did not grant their request. He did, however, give the Jews an opportunity to once again bring charges against Paul in Caesarea a few days later. They could not prove their claims, and Paul defended himself well. Festus asked Paul if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to answer the charges, in order to satisfy the Jews. Paul declined, and appealed to Caesar. He knew the fate that awaited him if he went to Jerusalem, so he appealed to the highest power in all the land as a Roman citizen: the emperor Caesar. Festus granted his appeal, and the matter was settled for the time being.
When people plot against you, you may need to appeal to a higher power. While Paul was dealing with a political or legal affront, we deal with people every day, or things every day, that threaten our well-being and cause us concern. When these situations arise, appeal to the only truly higher power, God Himself. Don’t let people or circumstances control you destiny. Put your destiny in the hands of our Almighty God, El Shaddai, and believe that he is able to protect and sustain you against all harm. He will deliver you from danger and bondage. Paul appealed to Caesar in his political and legal matters, but he also appealed to his Lord in every matter, and so should you. Appeal to Jesus and be whole!
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