In The Word
Read Acts 25:13-27
13 Now when several days had elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. 14 While they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix; 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges. 17 So after they had assembled here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought before me. 18 When the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting, 19 but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.20 Being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters. 21 But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I 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.”
Paul before Agrippa
23 So, on the next day when Agrippa came together with Bernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium accompanied by the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.24 Festus *said, “King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26 Yet I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Festus was a true man of the world. His aim was to build status and stay out of trouble. He succeeded Felix, who was recalled to Rome to give an account for his brutality in dealing with a Jewish uprising. Festus was aware of what was at stake politically. This reality was increased with the situation of Paul, so he recruited the help of King Agrippa. It is the explanation that Festus gives to his guest that reveals several things. One, that he has no regard for the “superstitions” of the Jews. He admits that he finds no reason of guilt in Paul. It is his description of Jesus that is most disturbing, “A certain Jesus” (Acts 25:19). As if Jesus was just some other person that crossed the landscape of human history, a certain person with no significance or regard. In this title, Festus dismissed his own Maker; he dismissed the One who formed him and gave life to him, the One who knew no sin and became sin for him. In a moment, Festus dismissed his only means of salvation.
Festus represents many people who hear about Jesus and simply dismiss Him. We must be careful that we do not regard so lightly the person of Yahshua. He is not just a certain person, He is the person. He is the Christ (HaMashicah), the Savior of the world, the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Anointed One and our High Priest. It is by the name of this “certain Jesus” that you are saved.