In this chapter we come across 3 characters or sets of characters who each respond differently to the revelation of God through Jesus. The chief priests and leaders of the Jews continue to respond with animosity to Paul and his teaching and they employ aggressive and devious tactics to continue to try to destroy him. We challenge our own hearts as we realize that these are the religious teachers who had become so engrossed in their own practice of religion that they didn't actually have room for Jesus. Festus is brand new to the idea of Jesus and to the history of Jewish faith. Unlike his predecessor, Felix, he comes across as an honest investigator. And so we encourage anyone who does not know Jesus to be like Festus - ask questions and pursue truth. Paul, of course, has already wholeheartedly responded to the revelation of God through Jesus (see Acts 9), but here in this chapter we observe him participating fully in the work that God is doing. He puts a bold foot forward in appealing to Caesar! As followers of Jesus we take courage and also a challenge to be discerning as Paul was to know when to act and in what way as we participate with God in the work He is doing in our lives.
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