GOSPEL MEDITATION # 65
Paul Appeals to Caesar, Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice, Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa-part 1
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Paul, for the rest of his life, is in Roman custody, and sees God’s purpose fulfilled despite it all.
- Due to the need to protect himself from being sent to Jerusalem and the assassins waiting for him there, Paul is forced to claim the right of a Roman citizen by asking for a hearing before the Emperor, Caesar, in Rome.
- The Roman governor Felix, in A.D. 58, is replaced by Festus. Agrippa, a king in the line of Herod the Great, with his wife Bernice, visit Festus in Caesarea to pay a political/courtesy call.
- Festus explains the circumstances regarding Paul to Agrippa and Bernice, whereupon Agrippa requests a chance to hear Paul for himself.
- From the nature of the narrative it is plain that Luke is either standing with Paul, perhaps as his doctor, or is privy to the events, and words spoken, from someone present.
- The issue, as presented by Paul, has to do with the resurrection of Jesus.
- Paul defends his faith before Agrippa and company, and as he often does, he sees a preaching opportunity.
- Paul’s main thrust is expressed in a question: “Why is it thought incredible that God raises the dead?” He then proceeds to describe his great antagonism towards those in “the Way.”