Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Acts 25-28


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Acts Chapter Twenty-Five

  1. (Marcus Antonius) Felix was procurator of Palestine from 52-60AD.  Porcius Festus was procurator of Palestine c.60-62AD.
  2. The chief priests and leading Jews immediately make Paul’s custody an issue for the new Procurator to address (Acts 25:1-5).
  3. When Festus provides Paul the opportunity to voluntarily submit to the Sanhedrin (Acts 25:6-9), Paul chose rather to appeal to Caesar—the highest judicial court in the Roman empire (Acts 25:10-12).
    1. The ius appellationis ad Caesarem or right of appeal to Caesar was a feature of Roman citizenship from the time of Augustus onward.
    2. The appellatio normally was exercised after a completed trial, with the condemned man contesting the lower court’s verdict.
    3. The provincial governor had some discretion, however, if it appeared the appellatio was frivolous or unwarranted (cf. Acts 25:12).
    4. Paul’s appeal is more properly a provocatio requesting a change of venue to Rome even prior to the completion of any trial.
  4. Before Paul could depart for Rome, Festus received a state visit from King Agrippa and his sister (lover) Bernice (Acts 25:13-27).
    1. Herod Agrippa II was the son of the Herod (Agrippa I) who had James killed (Acts 12:2).  He was in favor with the Emperor Claudius, and often entreated him on behalf of the Jews.
    2. Festus reviewed Paul’s legal case with Agrippa (Acts 25:14-21), and was grateful for Agrippa’s assistance in filing his legal brief (vv.24-27).
    3. Agrippa was eager to hear the case for himself (Acts 25:22-23).

Acts Chapter Twenty-Six

  1. Chapter 26 consists of Paul’s witness before King Agrippa.  The expert in both Roman Law and Mosaic Law, Agrippa was nearly convinced that Paul’s teaching was accurate (Acts 26:2-8).
  2. Paul expressed his delight that Agrippa’s expertise in Jewish customs and questions would make him an excellent judge (Acts 26:1-3).
  3. Paul bore witness to what he had hoped for as a Pharisee (Acts 26:4-8), what he had found as a persecutor (Acts 26:9-19), and what he had declared as an Apostle (Acts 26:20-23).
  4. Festus thought Paul was a lunatic, but Agrippa was definitely chewing on the issues (Acts 26:24-29).
  5. Agrippa, Bernice, & Festus were in agreement that the charges against Paul were unfounded, but his appellatio left them no opportunity for an acquittal (Acts 26:30-32).

Acts Chapter Twenty-Seven

  1. Paul’s transport to Rome was supervised by a Roman centurion named Julius (Acts 27:1).
    1. The Augustan Cohort was an auxiliary unit in the Roman army.  Its soldiers were promised Roman citizenship upon completion of 25 years of service.
    2. There is no record of Julius’ salvation, but under principles of Divine Establishment, Julius serves to bless Paul throughout the journey.
  2. Paul, Luke, & Aristarchus made up the missionary team bound for Rome (Acts 27:2).
  3. Julius extended considerable leniency in Paul’s “arrest” and generously allowed visitation privileges in Sidon (Acts 27:3).
  4. Julius disregarded Paul’s travel advice, and pressed on through the bad weather (Acts 27:4-13).
  5. The greatest storm and shipwreck described in the Bible features the Apostle Paul’s continued faithfulness to receive Divine instructions and preach messages of hope (Acts 27:14-44).

Acts Chapter Twenty-Eight

  1. God’s plan in sending the storm placed Paul precisely where he needed to be—the island of Malta (Acts 28:1-10).
  2. Paul finally made it to Rome, where he was given a generous incarceration arrangement (Acts 28:11-16,30-31).
  3. Paul’s first public message in Rome was to the Jewish population there (Acts 28:17-24).  Their mixed response resulted in Paul’s turning to the Gentiles (Acts 28:25-28).
  4. Paul’s two year “imprisonment” in Rome was the traditional time-frame for the Books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, & Philemon. Pastor Bob no longer accepts this time-frame, but this is where Ron Rhodes places these epistles in his chronological reading plan. TTB Day 345-348 will cover Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, Philippians.