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“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven” (Acts 26:19). Have you ever wondered what Apostle Paul meant by this?
An unusual prisoner.
Festus - Roman - Governor - Caesarea - Prisoner
Festus, the incoming Roman governor at Caesarea, inherited an unusual prisoner from Felix, the outgoing governor. The unusual prisoner was Paul the Apostle, who was imprisoned unjustly at Caesarea for two years (Acts 24: 27).
As Festus took over, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem asked him to send Paul to Jerusalem to be tried by them. He, to avoid a trial at Jerusalem by angry Jews, who caused his arrest, formally appealed to Caesar (per Roman law). Because Festus granted Paul’s appeal to be heard by Caesar at Rome (Acts 25: 12), he avoided the trial at Jerusalem, but was made to wait in the prison until the trip to Rome materialized.
Festus - Role - Governor - King - Agrippa
Not long after Festus assumed his role as the local governor, King Agrippa paid him a surprise visit.
Paul’s case was so perplexing to Festus that he chose to take advantage of the king’s visit to ask his help in resolving his concerns about Paul, the unusual prisoner. Festus acknowledged that Paul had no charges worthy of imprisonment, much less a trip to Rome for a hearing before Caesar.
Festus - King - Agrippa
This is what Festus confessed to visiting King Agrippa:
“But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty [Caesar in Rome] about him [prisoner Paul]. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write [to Caesar]. For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying...
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