King Agrippa, Bernice, Festus, Apostle Paul & the Council

Bible Studies, The Book of Acts

King Agrippa Visits Festus

King Agrippa and his wife, Queen Bernice, visited Governor Festus at an opportune time in the life of Apostle Paul.

Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar; [U]nto Caesar shalt thou go[?]” (Acts 25:12).

So, according to Apostle Paul’s request, Festus decided that he should see the king.

Is this coincident? Not at all! All this is happening to actualize the will of the Lord God.

And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus” (Acts 25:13).

Recall that the will of the Lord for Apostle Paul. He was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others including kings and governors.

Therefore, King Agrippa and his wife, Queen Bernice, didn’t visit Festus by chance.

King Agrippa & the Will of God

They were present by the immutable will of God. His desire is inevitable. We must do it! That’s why He is God!

And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix” (Acts 25:14).

Why didn’t Felix release Apostle Paul?

About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him” (Acts 25:15).

The Jewish leaders requested that Festus moved Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem.

Because secretly they desired to murder him in transit to Jerusalem.

To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have [license] to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him” (Acts 25:16).

Festus Explained to Agrippa

Festus heard Apostle Paul and the Jews accusations against him.

Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth” (Acts 25:17).

So, Apostle Paul defended himself before Festus and he preached Jesus Christ to him.

Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:” (Acts 25:18).

Finally, Paul affirmed to Festus and the Jews that Jesus Christ was dead but he’s alive.

But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive” (Acts 25:19).

Apostle Paul – Jesus Christ is Alive

Festus wasn’t a Christian. He knew nothing about Christ. Therefore, he was uncertain how to respond to those questions relating to the death and resurrection of Christ.

And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters” (Acts 25:20).

Festus continues to provide King Agrippa with the back story of Apostle Paul’s arrest.

But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar” (Acts 25:21).

Subsequently, when Agrippa heard Festus’ declaration of Paul he desired to hear him for himself.

And Festus agreed that King Agrippa would hear Paul the next day.

Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. [Tomorrow], said he, thou shalt hear him” (Acts 25:22).

Royal Pomp & Circumstance

So, the next day with royal pomp and circumstance they sent for Apostle Paul. And when he came he preached Jesus Christ to them.

And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth” (Acts 25:23).

Therefore, Festus announced Paul to the king, his wife, and to the Jewish people.

And he announced the Jews accusations, that he should die.

And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer” (Acts 25:24).

Was Apostle Paul Worthy of Death?

However, Festus makes it clear that in his opinion, Apostle Paul was not “worthy of death”.

But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him” (Acts 25:25).

Additionally, Apostle Paul didn’t commit any crime. Therefore, Festus had nothing to write to the king, Augustus Caesar, about.

Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write” (Acts 25:26).

As a result, Festus was hopeful when King Agrippa visited him. But he was even more positive that after the king heard Paul speak he would have something to write to Augustus Caesar about him.

For it [seems] to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him” (Acts 25:27).

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