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Paul's defense before Festus and Agrippa

Paul testifies before two Roman governors.
Contributed by SIKU – Edge Group
On his return from his third missionary trip, Paul boarded a ship heading for Caesarea. On arrival at the port he met the prophet Agabus. – Slide 1
Agabus took Paul’s belt, and with it he tied up his own hands and feet. Then he told Paul, ‘The Holy Spirit says that some of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt. They will also hand him over to the Gentiles.’ <br/>Despite this warning Paul continued on to Jerusalem where he was arrested by the Jewish leaders. He would have been killed by an angry mob had not a Roman commander rescued him and taken him back to Caesarea where he was jailed to face trial before the Roman Governor Felix (Acts 21). Paul spoke with Felix many times but since Felix wanted to do the Jewish leaders a favour, he kept Paul in jail. – Slide 2
Two years later Porcius Festus became governor in place of Felix. The Jewish leaders begged him to bring Paul to Jerusalem as they were planning to attack and kill Paul on the way. Paul insisted as he was a Roman Citizen he should be taken to Rome and have his case heard by the Roman Emperor. <br/>A few days later King Agrippa and his wife, Bernice, came to Caesarea to visit Festus. They all decided to hear what Paul had to say as to send a prisoner to the Emperor they needed to state the charges against him. – Slide 3
Paul began by saying, ‘King Agrippa, I am glad for this chance to defend myself before you as you know a lot about our religious customs and the beliefs that divide us. – Slide 4
‘I once thought that I should do everything I could to oppose Jesus from Nazareth. I put many of God’s people in jail. I even voted for them to be killed. I was so angry I went looking to hunt down Christians in Damascus. – Slide 5
‘I was my way to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priests. About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me. We all fell to the ground. – Slide 6
‘Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It’s foolish to fight against me!” <br/>'“Who are you?” I asked. <br/>‘Then the Lord answered, I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to. Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later. <br/>‘I want you to open their eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God’s holy people.’ – Slide 7
‘King Agrippa, I obeyed this vision from heaven. First I preached to the people in Damascus, and then I went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Finally, I went to the Gentiles and said, “Stop sinning and turn to God! Then prove what you have done by the way you live.” <br/>‘That is why some men grabbed me in the temple and tried to kill me.’ – Slide 8
Before Paul finished defending himself, Festus shouted, ‘Paul, you’re crazy! Too much learning has driven you out of your mind.’ <br/>But Paul replied, ‘Honourable Festus, I am not crazy. What I am saying is true.’ – Slide 9
Then Paul said to Agrippa, ‘Do you believe what the prophets said? I know you do.’ <br/>Agrippa asked Paul, ‘In such a short time do you think you can talk me into being a Christian?’ <br/>Paul answered, ‘Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish you and everyone else who hears me today would become just like me! Except, of course, for these chains.’ – Slide 10
Then King Agrippa, Governor Festus, Bernice, and everyone who was with them got up. But before they left, they said, ‘This man isn’t guilty of anything. He doesn’t deserve to die or to be put in jail.’ <br/>Agrippa told Festus, ‘Paul could have been set free, if he had not asked to be tried by the Roman Emperor.’ – Slide 11
Captain Julius from the Emperor’s special troops was put in charge of Paul and the other prisoners being taken to Rome. On the way they encountered a violent storm. – Slide 12
The ship ended up being shipwrecked off the coast of Malta but God rescued Paul and all on board and they managed to get to the shore safely (Acts 28). – Slide 13
Three months later, Paul was put under guard on a ship heading from Malta to the port of Puteoli. From here Paul was taken overland to Rome to face trial before the Roman Emperor. – Slide 14
Slide 15