Acts 25 – Can You See God at Work in the Midst of Injustice? with Theodore Venter (Gateway Austin)

Acts 25 continues the story of the apostle Paul, who has been imprisoned in Caesarea. Just as the Gospel of Luke follows the legal proceedings of Jesus on the way to the cross in Jerusalem, Paul’s confrontations with authority are shown in the last several chapter of Acts.

The chapter begins with the arrival of Festus, the new governor, who succeeds Felix. Festus learns about Paul’s case and travels to Jerusalem to meet with the Jewish leaders to discuss the charges against him. The Jewish leaders, still determined to bring harm to Paul, request that he be transferred to Jerusalem for trial. However, Festus suggests that the trial should be held in Caesarea, where Paul is already imprisoned.

A few days later, Paul stands before Festus, and his accusers present their case against him. Paul defends himself against the accusations, stating that he has done nothing wrong according to Jewish law or the temple. Festus, realizing that the charges against Paul are primarily about Jewish religious disputes, offers him the opportunity to go to Jerusalem and be judged there. However, Paul, aware of the dangers and knowing he would not receive a fair trial, appeals to Caesar, exercising his right as a Roman citizen.

As a result of Paul’s appeal, Festus arranges for him to be taken to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. Later, King Agrippa and his sister Bernice visit Festus, and Festus tells them about Paul’s case. Agrippa expresses interest in hearing Paul speak, and arrangements are made for a formal hearing.

Whenever I have read this in the past, I always thought: “Oh no! Paul is innocent! He should have never appealed to Caesar! Everything got so messed up!”

But that’s not how Paul handles the injustice. Instead, Paul doesn’t complain but sees this as another opportunity to share about Jesus to people in power.

How have you seen God use our “mistakes” or the world’s injustice to bring about good?

When reading this passage what stood out to you?

How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?

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