Before King Agrippa

Acts 25:13–27 (NKJV)

13 And after some days King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Festus. 14 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. 16 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.’ 17 Therefore when they had come together, without any delay, the next day I sat on the judgment seat and commanded the man to be brought in. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him of such things as I supposed, 19 but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I was uncertain of such questions, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21 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.”
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”

Acts 25:13-22

Festus, the new governor, received a visit from King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice. During their political visit, Paul’s case came up. Festus explained the conflict between Paul and the Jews in Jerusalem as a religious dispute. However, he wanted to allow for Paul to face his accusers before adjudicating. He revealed that Paul had appealed to Caesar rather than go to Jerusalem and endanger his own life. Agrippa was intrigued by the case and asked to hear from Paul himself, to which Festus consented.

23 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. 24 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. 25 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. 26 I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”

Acts 25:23-27

The next day Festus made a spectacle of Agrippa coming into the interrogation area which set the stage for Paul to be presented before him. The premise of the meeting was for Agrippa to ascertain–through questioning Paul–as to what charges should be written against him to be presented to Caesar. Paul’s story is unfolding slowly but surely. He has appeared before Lysias in Jerusalem, before Felix in Caesarea, before Festus in Caesarea, appealed to Caesar, and then is now appearing before Agrippa in Festus’ court in Caesarea. He is working his way up the line, and will eventually be heard in Rome.

The stages of one’s journey may not always be swift in their progression from one to another. But God works with a timing that will take you to the fruition of his plan for you if you are willing to be patient with him in the process. If the first stage does not bring the answer you look for, then look for the next stage. Keep moving along the path until you are where you were meant to be. When you arrive, it will have been worth the ride. Don’t be discouraged if Lysias leads to Felix, who is replaced by Festus, who then pawns you off on Agrippa. Even the seemingly useless or powerless, the most insignificant, may play an important role in your reaching the greater goal for your life. Don’t rue standing before King Agrippa, just be thankful for the part he plays in your journey!

Artwork from http://www.believetrust.com/bible/acts-26-festus-consults-king-agrippa/

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