Read This Week: Acts 25

Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?” Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving of death, I do not refuse to die. – Acts 25:1-2, 8-10 NIV

Acts 25 is a continuation of Paul’s trial that seems to be going on for an inordinate amount of time. He has more than adequately defended himself and disproven all the charges against him with eloquence, grace, and truth. Now he is in front of the new governor, Porcius Festus, who does not even know anything about the original Jewish plot against him. So Paul finds himself having to make his case again.

Governor Festus does not cooperate with the schemes of the Jewish leaders, but he does invite them to confront Paul again so he can review the case in person. At this time, Paul remains resolute and stands up with clarity and says, “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” He affirms his innocence again of any crime and does so with inspiring confidence in the Lord and his mission.

When Festus raises the stakes on Paul in verse 9 and asks him if he is willing to go on trial before the court in Jerusalem, the Apostle takes an even bigger stand. He says in verse 10:

“I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving of death, I do not refuse to die.”

With this tremendous statement of faith and courage, Paul undermines and destroys both the intent and case of the Jews. The religious leaders could not intimidate or make him denounce the gospel of Jesus as the Son of God because he was willing to face death for the mission. Their desire to kill him had no effect on Paul because his heart was already prepared to die for the calling that had been placed on his life.

This chapter communicates to us the reality of our trials. Sometimes they go on for longer than we want them to. Sometimes we have to endure the same attacks over and over again. Sometimes the Enemy is persistent in his accusations and desire to destroy us. But through it all, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have to stand up. Stand up to the challenges that we face in this life and persevere with faith, strength, and an undying commitment to God’s mission.

Paul, the same person who stood trial before Festus in this chapter wrote these words in Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” After we have done all we can do, sometimes the victory comes in just being able to keep standing up.

8 Comments

  1. Heidi on April 8, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    God gave me a song yesterday to go along with what He showed me for bible study yesterday. It is called “Shoulders” by King and Country. This is the part that touched my heart deeply:

    My help is from You
    Don’t have to see it to believe it
    My help is from you
    Don’t have to see it, ’cause I know (cause I know it’s true)
    My help is from You
    Don’t have to see it to believe it
    My help is from you
    Don’t have to see it, ’cause I know (cause I know it’s true)

    In life we will face people who can cause us pain, say things that are not true, you can get disappointed, feel alone, and the list goes on. I see Paul as a awesome example, even though he is a child of God, a messenger for God, a great servant, and an Apostle doesn’t mean Paul, you, or I are not going to go through issues, trials, and problems. It’s how we learn to trust God in all things and not let people push our buttons, get us upset, we can have unmet expectations, it’s all about learning that God meets our needs when people don’t want to hear the good news don’t get discouraged and keep sharing.

    I want to encourage you that God is right there for you. He never leaves us, you may not see it, our part is to believe it and know Jesus love lives in our heart, Father God is our help, when you start to feel sad, get upset, ask God for His comfort, feeling hurt, ask God to help you to say and do the right thing so people can see the Holy Spirit help you. Keep sharing why Jesus came here, and how your life has changed because of your relationship with Him.

    God is saying to me, “It’s all about sharing Jesus’ love and why He came here, so we could be together forever and ever.”

    • Jason on April 14, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      This is such a wonderful, insightful post, Heidi. I also love the lyrics from King and Country. Those words are so powerful and remind me of the promise of God’s help in Psalm 121:1-2: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

      My favorite part of your post was the line about unmet expectations. Sometimes life and continuing to stand and navigate our journey is all about how we handle our expectations in sync with our faith in God. This part of your post describes that beautifully:

      We can have unmet expectations, it’s all about learning that God meets our needs when people don’t want to hear the good news don’t get discouraged, and keep sharing.

  2. Jeri Centers on April 8, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    A poem from Acts 25:

    Be unshakable, in the power of His might
    Be unbendable to stand fast and fight.

    Be unyielding, to the wiles of the enemy
    Be uncompromising to all things.

    Be unfailing in the word be grounded
    Be unwavering so as not to be confounded.

    Be unremitting to what you know is true
    Be unfaltering when the enemy comes after you.

    What that means to me is to hold on to your faith and to always make a stand for God. Be unshakable hold on to the truth and that will make me unbreakable.

    • Jason on April 14, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      This is so great, Jeri, and I can’t think of a better poetic and creative expression of the overall theme of Acts 25. The lines of your poem can be directly applied to the life of Paul and to the Christian life and journey that God desires for us. I think every person who follows Jesus should put this in a place where they can see it every day:

      Be unremitting to what you know is true
      Be unfaltering when the enemy comes after you.

  3. Alma Dolores Schmidt on April 8, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    I got a song this week from Acts 25 called “God Is Real”:

    Our Father God is real, is real
    He is omnipresent and ready to heal

    Strengthening and giving us hope, joy, and inspiration
    Our Father is always working, working, working
    He never gives up on us but gives us choices

    Thanking you, thanking you, we thank you, our Father
    Always putting us first
    Let’s join hands to become stronger in our faith

    Praising God, praising God, we praise you, our Father
    Sharing your world together

    Our Father God is real, is real
    He is omnipresent and ready to heal. Amen.

    God is amazing, He is always with us. It’s about us responding. Thank you, God, through my up and downs your right with me. My heart wants to be more like yours. I want to see the good in people and find your peace in everything.

    • Jason on April 14, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      I love this, Alma. This line from your song is a profound truth about God and his character and relationship to us that can empower and allow us to stand everyday:

      Our Father God is real, is real
      He is omnipresent and ready to heal.

      Knowing that God is real and is present everywhere and in our lives can provide the kind of confidence and faith we need as we navigate life and encounter any situation.

  4. Kathy on April 12, 2021 at 10:39 am

    In Acts 25, this was what God was saying to me: “I wanted to remind you My son Jesus will always be your defense against condemnation and false accusation. To hear a messenger sharing My word with others is the first step on the path to saving faith. Something required as a prior condition for receiving the gospel is a teachable spirit and a desire to hear the message. If you want to be an effective messenger, you must have these conditions. The more you draw near to Me, spending time with Me in worship, in My word, and in serving others, the more effective you will be.

    You can’t teach someone to be teachable if you are not. In these current times, My word must keep spreading and growing like wildfire. Those who try to stamp it out will send more sparks into the wind to ignite hearts in many more places. True Christians are My people. Those who persecute them are to persecute Jesus, If you answer the call to be a witness for Me, you need to face the challenge of responding with courage and confidence. I want you to be My messenger. Step out and be bold.

    What this says to me is God keeps reminding me He wants me to be a messenger for Him. For me to be effective, I must soak up being in His presence like a sponge. I need to step out in faith with boldness and courage.

    • Jason on April 14, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      Such a great post and commentary on Acts 25, Kathy. This lines stood out to me and is one that every believer needs to know and embrace as we walk through life, deal with people, and contend against gossip, accusation, and relational issues that challenge our lives: I wanted to remind you My son Jesus will always be your defense against condemnation and false accusation.

      Jesus is our defender and as long as we have Him and are doing what He wants us to do, we can stand against struggles, persecution, and against things that are not true. Your post reminded of the worship song, “Defender” and these lines from it:

      You go before I know
      That You’ve even gone to win my war
      You come back and You call it my victory

      You go before I know
      That You’ve even gone to win my war
      Your love becomes my greatest defense
      It leads me from the dry wilderness

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