Paul said in his defense, “I have in no way committed an offense against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, or against the emperor.” Acts 25:8
In our Scripture passage (Acts 25:1-12) today we find Governor Festus’ high intent to preserve his imperial privilege, and because of this Paul is cared for under house arrest in back in Caesarea. While Festus is in Jerusalem and speaking with the high priest and council Festus takes care not to pass any sentence on Paul until he is formally accused by them in Caesarea.
Festus, a Roman Governor, has authority to judge in the name of Caesars rule in the empire. The high priest and council accuse Paul unjustly and Paul vehemently states his innocence. Festus did not need to ask Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be tried there before me on these charges?” (Acts 25:9), for he could have just ordered it. Here we see the plan of Christ to get Paul to Rome to testify for Him. Festus has his council beside him, those who advise. Paul makes his appeal to go before the emperor and Festus grants his appeal. “To the emperor you will go” (v. 12) Festus says.
Christ has told Paul that he is to go courageously to Rome and witness for Him in Rome: Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (Acts 23:11) So when Paul makes his appeal to Festus to go before the emperor’s tribunal in Rome it is in obedience to Jesus.
Paul will testify that not only is Christ alive, God has Resurrected His Son, and he will teach hearers about the Holy Spirit. Just as Paul did for Apollos of Alexandria in Acts 19:24-28, he can explain the Way of God perfectly for those who know Scriptures. Repent and be baptized then the New Birth, or justification, is the Way to enter into obedient faith in Christ for this activates the Holy Spirit’s companionship within you.
1 Three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem 2 where the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews gave him a report against Paul. They appealed to him 3 and requested, as a favor to them against Paul,[a] to have him transferred to Jerusalem. They were, in fact, planning an ambush to kill him along the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 “So,” he said, “let those of you who have the authority come down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them accuse him.”
6 After he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he arrived, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem surrounded him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove. 8 Paul said in his defense, “I have in no way committed an offense against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, or against the emperor.” 9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be tried there before me on these charges?” 10 Paul said, “I am appealing to the emperor’s tribunal; this is where I should be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you very well know. 11 Now if I am in the wrong and have committed something for which I deserve to die, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can turn me over to them. I appeal to the emperor.” 12 Then Festus, after he had conferred with his council, replied, “You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go.” Acts 25:1-12