Thursday, November 30, 2023
[Festus had already agreed to send Paul to Rome, yet wanted to include other powerful dignitaries in the decision. So he asked them,] "But what shall I write the emperor? For there is no clear charge against him. So I have brought him before all of you, and especially you, King Agrippa, so that after we examine him, I might have something to write. For it makes no sense to send a prisoner to the emperor without specifying the charges against him!"
Festus was wise in his maneuvering. He wanted all the political and religious dignitaries over whom he ruled to be valued. Being the Roman governor, he had to uphold Roman law. So, he included these dignitaries and especially King Agrippa, who came from a long line of Jewish rulers. Since Agrippa was Jewish, he was under the Roman governor, but perhaps Festus thought the Jewish ruler could provide some insight into Paul's situation, so Festus involved Agrippa in the decision about what to write concerning the charges against Paul. At the same time, Luke showed us once again that Paul was not guilty of any crime under Roman law. Luke wanted his readers, especially those like Theophilus who were Roman and interested in honoring God, to know that Christianity was not an illegal religion and its leaders were not dangerous to public safety. Jesus had taught that his followers should be salt and light in a world of decay and darkness.* They were — and are — supposed to live such good lives that people would see their lives and glorify God.** How are we doing at this job? How am I living up to Jesus' call to be a blessing?
* See our first set of Related Scripture Readings.
** See our second set of Related Scripture Readings.
O, Father, may my life and the influence of all your people be a blessing to our world caught in the grips of division, turmoil, injustice, and immorality. We want your faithful lovingkindness, righteous character, and gracious compassion to be seen in us as we live in the world to redeem it. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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