Understanding Acts | Influence | Acts 25.16-22 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | May 19, 2023

““I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges. 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.” Acts 25.16-22

After two years Paul is still being held in Herod’s Palace at Caesarea. The Roman Governor Felix has been replaced by Festus and on the scene comes King Agrippa (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Herod-Agrippa-I). He is the new ruler of Judea, appeasing both the Romans and the Jews. 

Felix and Agrippa are the guys with the most power and influence in the realm. They are bosses and what they say influences all of Judea. Paul is a super smart, Spirit-filled preacher. He is an agent of the Lord and as God often does, he puts his people if not in positions of power, than right now to the source. Look at Joseph, Moses, Aaron and the Pharaohs, look at Nehemiah and the Persian king Artaxerxes, look at Jesus before Herod, look at David before King Saul.

God positions his people so they can have the best amount of influence possible. Even though Paul remained in the palace prison for two years, I imagine it was nicer than one might expect. And besides, following Christ is not about our comfort, contrary to what the American church might imagine.

Paul was not placed before the King of Judea and the Roman Governor for his own health! He wasn’t placed before them for personal fame, recognition or to beef up his reputation. Paul wasn’t even put there to promote his own agenda. Paul was positioned strategically so that the Gospel of Jesus might be conveyed. And what is this gospel? That “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Romans 10:13).

Sometimes we question our own standing in society. Maybe we are making great impacts for Christ or perhaps our job seems like a dead end. But God know’s what he is doing. You are placed where you are for a purpose. And if you sense the need for a change, pray, seek the Lord, ask for a redirection. But when you ask- ask according to his will and purpose. And then, after asking, trust where God has placed you.

Paul was placed in an area of influence so that the whole world might know. Because of Paul, Peter and the other early disciples, the message of Jesus not only spread but flourished to the ends of the earth so that people might repent, believe and be saved.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving your people. Thank you for coming from heaven so that we might know your love and be filled with your light. Come now, Holy Spirit and guide my steps. Help me see the purpose of your path and help me to share your good news with the world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen