Friday, September 13, 2013

moving up the line

Good morning brothers and sisters,
We've read about Paul's appeal to the Roman Emperor. Today we see the beginnings of how that's going to happen. Felix here is a classic official. He knows he needs to send Paul to the emperor, but he doesn't know what to say to his superiors about why he's sending him. That's not surprising, since over and over again Roman officials have agreed that Paul isn't breaking any Roman rules. They don't care, so it's hard for Felix to explain why he's sending Paul on for trial. So they examine Paul again, this time along side the Jewish king Agrippa and his sister Bernice. On the other hand, we'll see that Paul has something to say too, so he doesn't mind having another opportunity to speak.

God bless,

Acts 25:23-27, 26:1-8
23So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then Festus gave the order and Paul was brought in. 24And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.

25But I found that he had done nothing deserving death; and when he appealed to his Imperial Majesty, I decided to send him. 26But I have nothing definite to write to our sovereign about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write— 27for it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner without indicating the charges against him.”

Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You have permission to speak for yourself.’ Then Paul stretched out his hand and began to defend himself: 2 ‘I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my defence today against all the accusations of the Jews, 3because you are especially familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews; therefore I beg of you to listen to me patiently.

4 ‘All the Jews know my way of life from my youth, a life spent from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I have belonged to the strictest sect of our religion and lived as a Pharisee. 6And now I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, 7a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews! 8Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

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