April 28, 2022
“And Festus said, ‘King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here...’”
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“And Festus said, ‘King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. As he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we examined him, I may have something to write.’” Acts 25: 24-26
Have you ever tried to share the hope of Jesus with a stranger? It can be very uncomfortable because you never know how people will react. Sometimes people get angry, and other times they’re ready to follow Jesus on the spot. Sadly, most believers aren’t prepared for either scenario.
Evangelism can be like shark fishing. In shark fishing, there are two questions: 1) “How am I going to catch a shark?” 2) “What am I going to do with a shark in my boat?!!!”
Paul saw a wide variety of responses when he shared the gospel. Many believed, and the Church, as we know it, was born. Others wanted to kill Paul. The Roman Governor Felix protected Paul, but his true desire was for Paul’s money. Enter Roman Governor, Festus. Festus inherited the “problem of Paul” from his predecessor. Stuck between politics and principles, Festus was such a weak leader that he needed a committee to tell him how to accuse Paul.
The great message of today’s passage is that Festus never found anything wrong with Paul’s character, politics, or theology. Could that be said of you?
A few years back, I wrote a song that posed a question: “If loving God was a crime, would you be an outlaw?” This was Festus’ dilemma with accusing Paul, and it was Babylonian official’s dilemma when trying to accuse Daniel. They literally had to make loving God against the law because they could find no other flaws in their characters. Does your life honor God in such a way that your accusers couldn’t find any evidence of worldliness, so they would have to make your devotion to the Lord illegal so that they could have overwhelming evidence to convict you?