World Bible Challenge Leaderboard
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"'I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over any man before he has faced his accusers and has had an opportunity to defend himself against their charges. When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in.'" NIV translation
Festus continues to justify his actions by saying that he had given Paul a speedy trial. Most of the legal systems of the world are based on these Roman principles and it is a good fair system. The system was not the problem, it was the lack of courage of the politicians to do the right thing. As we see in our training as a soldier of God (see Ephesians 6), we are called to do the right thing all the time.
"'When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges.'" NIV translation
The politician continues to give excuses for not doing the right thing. He admitted that Paul had not broken any laws but, instead of releasing him, he had asked him to go to Jerusalem for trial.
It is much the same way today in that many people want to disguise the truth with a bunch of words.
"'When Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.'" NIV translation
Now, Festus even blames Paul for his being imprisoned. In effect, he is saying that Paul had to be held because he had appealed his case to Caesar. The politician has pointed the finger at everyone but himself and that is the popular thing to do among most people today. Many will blame their parents, government, etc for the situation that they are in instead of accepting the fact that, many times, the problem is with ourselves and is rooted in our sin. The only answer to these problems is to turn to Jesus Christ and, through Him, we have the power to overcome the world. That is what John was talking about when he told us that faith is the victory that overcomes the world (see 1 John 5:4).
"Then Agrippa said to Festus, 'I would like to hear this man myself.' He replied, 'Tomorrow you will hear him.'" NIV translation
And so, Paul is set to testify before a king just as He had been told. It may seem like a long winding process but, even so, we see that God has been in control. The same is true for our lives as well in that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and He is able to carry it out.