Acts 25:13-27 – April 22, 2007

April 15, 2007 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

KING AGRIPPA AND BERNICE ARRIVE – PART 1 (verses 13-27)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

The class was given the following sheet about King Agrippa:

Last ruler from the house of Herod. Great-grandson of Herod the through both his father [Agrippa I] & mother [Cypros, the daughter of Salampsio], Agrippa II was, like his father & paternal grandfather, raised in the imperial household in Rome. Only 16 when his father died (44 CE), he was too young to be named king of the volatile kingdom of Judea. But six years later, the emperor Claudius put him in charge of the Lebanese kingdom of Chalcis, that had been vacated by the death of his uncle, Herod (48 CE). Agrippa’s support of Jews in their feud with Samaritans (52 CE) led Claudius to replace the procurator of Judea [Cumanus] & give Agrippa control of the Syrian provinces [Golan, Batanea & Trachonitis] that had previously been governed by his father & great-uncle [Philip]. Like his father & uncle, he retained the title of “king.” When Nero became emperor (54 CE), he expanded Agrippa’s kingdom to include Perea and the west shore of the sea of Galilee, territory that had belonged to the domain of his father & another great-uncle [Antipas]. Although his reign was the longest of any member of the Herodian dynasty, he never ruled Judea, Samaria or the bulk of Galilee. Yet, his sister, Drusilla, became wife of a Roman procurator of Judea [Antonius Felix]. Though Claudius made him administrator of the temple in Jerusalem, Agrippa himself was not a religious Jew & created scandal among Jewish subjects by continuing his incestuous relationship with another sister, Berenice. That scandal is not mentioned, however, in Luke’s account of the apostle Paul’s favorable audience before the pair on the eve of his deportation to Rome [Acts 25-26]. Since Agrippa sided with Rome in the great Jewish revolt (66-70 CE), his position was reconfirmed by Roman emperors after Nero.

Q1) In verse 16 it sounds like Paul had not been tried before, but he had in chapters 23 and 24. Why would this happen?

Discussion)    Remember that this is the first case that Festus had tried.  He also probably did not know what Felix did in the previous court cases with Paul since there was no true transfer of power between Felix and Festus.  Even though Paul had been tried before Festus did it a new way.

Q2) Festus was in a hurry to get Paul’s case dealt with. Why?

Clues)    This is a trick question.  Festus was not in a hurry to get Paul’s case dealt with.

Discussion)    The reason we know that this is true is in two clues.  First we saw last week by secular writings that though little is known about Festus, it is known that he had wisdom.  In this wisdom he did not do things rashly and in haste.  Also, in verse 14 it states that King Agrippa and Bernice were at Caesera many days before Festus talked to them about Paul.  If Festus wanted to do this rashly and in haste that would have been the very first thing that he would have talked to them about.

Q3) Festus explained Paul’s case to King Agrippa. What two things must occur at every Roman citizen’s trial?

Discussion)    This is found in verse 16 that two things that must occur at every Roman citizen’s trial is that the accused must meet their accusers and that the accused has a chance to defend himself.  Though King Agrippa knew about this law, Festus is here reminding him about it.

We first talked about King Agrippa here.  We must realize that this is the son of the King Agrippa that had the apostle James executed in Acts 12 and then was struck down through death by God for his arrogance.  King Agrippa is coming into this ordeal with Paul with this baggage that he had witnessed at a young age.

Q4) In verses 19 and 20 Festus is uncertain of some things that Felix was certain of. What were these and what difference does it show between Felix and Festus?

Discussion)    Festus was uncertain of the Jewish religion and customs in which Felix was well versed.  We took the time to see that through his wisdom, Festus realized that he did not know how to proceed and he called for help from the authority above him, which is King Agrippa.

Q5) Verse 25 states that Festus found Paul guilty of nothing – he could find no crimes worthy of death. Why didn’t he just release Paul and let him go?

Discussion)    Paul appealed to go to Caesar instead of being let go.  Notice here a few things about the “court room” in which it was not a true court room but an auditorium in which Paul would not only speak one-on-one to King Agrippa but also to all the prominent men of the city.  Catch this part, what most people would see as an incident to humiliate a person, Paul saw as a way to tell many people at once about the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Q6) Why does the Bible show so many verses (14-21 and 24-27) explaining to Agrippa about charges of Paul?

Discussion)  This goes back to Festus and something that Christians should understand today.  Festus was showing that he did not know what to do so he “laid out all his cards” or told King Agrippa everything that he knew about the case against Paul so that King Agrippa (the authority over Festus) could rightly do his job.  In the same way, if we do not know something, we are not to make something up but to be honest and state that we do not know.  When we ask for help, we are not to keep an “ace up our sleeve” but to let the authority know everything that we do.    

LIFE APPLICATION: Read Matthew 10:16-20. Paul was not an apostle when Jesus said this to the disciples. So does that mean that this portion of Scripture is for us? Could what Paul is going through happen to us today?

Discussion)    Yes this portion of Scripture is for us today.  Soon in America we could very well go through being thrown in prison for the name of Jesus, like they are in other parts of the world.  When this happens the book of Acts has wonderful examples of what we are supposed to do and how we are supposed to act.

 

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Acts 24:27-25:12 – April 15, 2007 Acts 26:1-16 – April 29, 2007

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