ECCO | Paul Before Rulers

June 27, 2021

    Paul Before Rulers

    Paul had narrowly escaped death in Jerusalem. The Jews planned to kill Paul, but the Roman soldiers took him to Caesarea (cess uh REE uh), where he would be safe. However, Paul was still a prisoner. The Roman leaders wanted to figure out why the Jews hated Paul so much. So Paul met with rulers to try to explain what was going on.

    First, Paul met with Felix the governor. Felix ordered the Roman guard to watch Paul but to also give him some freedom by letting Paul’s friends come and serve him. A few days later, Felix and his wife came for a meeting with Paul. Paul talked about faith in Jesus. He talked about righteousness and self-control, and he explained that one day God is going to judge the world. Felix was afraid of what Paul said. He sent Paul away, but he met with him many times for the next two years. When a new governor came into power, Felix did not release Paul from prison.

    The new governor was named Festus. He traveled to Jerusalem to meet with the Jewish leaders. The Jewish leaders asked Festus to bring Paul to Jerusalem. They were still planning to attack Paul and kill him. But Festus wanted Paul to stay in Caesarea. He invited some of the Jewish leaders to go with him to see Paul.

    Paul stood before Festus. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” Paul explained again. “I want to see Caesar!” Caesar was the emperor of Rome, and as a Roman citizen, Paul had the right to take his case to him. Festus agreed. While Paul was waiting to go to Rome, King Agrippa and Queen Bernice visited Festus and Paul. Paul told the king how he became a believer. He explained that Jesus died to bring salvation to Jews and Gentiles.

    “You are out of your mind!” Festus said. Paul said, “I am speaking the truth. I wish you—and everyone who is listening—might believe in Jesus.” King Agrippa, Festus, and the others with them got up. They agreed that Paul had done nothing wrong. The king was ready to free Paul, but Paul had already asked to go to Rome.

    Christ Connection: God had chosen Paul to take the gospel to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. (Acts 9:15-16) Paul met with people, again and again, to tell the good news about Jesus. He wanted everyone to believe that Jesus is Lord. Because Jesus has the power to save people from sin, Paul was willing to do whatever it took to share the gospel.

    BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 24-26
    STORY POINT: Paul was willing to do hard things to share the Gospel.
    KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 1:6
    CHRIST CONNECTION: What will happen for all Christians for the future? One day all Christians will see Jesus in His glory and will live with Him forever!

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