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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.” 

 

In verses 1-12, Paul appealed to Caesar in Rome for a trial there. Festus, the second Judean governor, rejected the Sanhedrin’s request to extradite him to Jerusalem, but in his desire to appease the Jews, he delayed the apostle’s court case again.  

25:1 

Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 

Porcius Festus, the succeeding governor of Judea after Felix, came from Caesarea to Jerusalem to meet with the Jews. He had a favorable reputation, from what historians know about him. He reigned as Procurator of Judea from AD 58-62.  

25:2 

Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, 

In Jerusalem, the high priest and ruling leaders of the Sanhedrin informed Festus of their case against Paul and then petitioned him to bring Paul’s trial to Jerusalem. In the situation two years prior with Felix, it was terrorists who planned to kill Paul by ambush, and at this point it was the religious leaders of the nation who attempt to do the same.  

25:3 

asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. 

The petition had to do with asking Festus to extradite Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem. The intent was to kill Paul by ambush on his way to Jerusalem, something they had attempted two years previously (Acts 23:12-15).  

25:4 

But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. 

Festus replied to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem that he would keep Paul’s trial at Caesarea because he was arranging for a trip there shortly. He decided on the convenience that Paul was already at his base in Caesarea.  

25:5 

“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.” 

Festus then asked authoritative Jews to accompany him to Caesarea from Jerusalem to present their accusations against Paul. 

PRINCIPLE: 

God is sovereign over the schemes of men in the believer’s life, but trusting His work requires good human judgment.  

APPLICATION: 

Paul was well acquainted with the Jews’ previous attempt to murder him while in transport by Roman soldiers. The possibility of a fair trial in Jerusalem before him was minimal, and he had already been under military guard for two years. There comes a point where believers must use good human judgment about their situation with confidence in God’s sovereign control over the schemes of men in their lives.  

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