Acts 25

The immediate context of the passage is that Paul has just spent two years in prison under the governor, Felix. This has protected him from some Jews who really want to kill him and given him the opportunity to converse frequently with him.


The long-term context of this passage is the fulfilment of what Jesus said in Luke 24:46-47: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

In Acts 25 we see a new governor, Festus, has taken over and some Jews are still trying to kill Paul. Again, Paul is accused of many serious charges that they could not prove (verse 7).

When Festus suggests going to Jerusalem and be tried, Paul appeals to Caesar as is his right as a Roman citizen. After conferring with his council, Festus agrees to send Paul to Caesar in Rome (which will lead to the fulfilment of Acts 23v11: God’s plan for Paul to testify about him in Rome).

This leads to him getting another opportunity to defend himself and share his testimony with Agrippa, Bernice, Festus, the military tribunes, and the prominent men of the city (verse 23).


There were a few things I think God was teaching me as I read this chapter. 

First, God cares about all nations hearing the gospel, not just the Jews in Jerusalem. This can be seen through the repetition of the location of Paul and the tribunal being in Caesarea as opposed to Jerusalem [verses 1, 4, 6, 13]. Furthermore, in verse 23 we see Agrippa, Bernice, Festus, the military tribunes, and the prominent men of the city (i.e. gentiles) listen to what Paul has to say.

Second, God does not break his promises. We can see the start of the fulfilment of what God told Paul in Acts 23:11 when he said he would go to Rome. Considering the two year gap between the giving of that message and any hint of its fulfilment, I think this also serves as a lesson in patience and trusting God's timing. Another fulfilment of prophecy is that the gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins is being preached to the Gentiles, a fulfilment of what Jesus said in Luke 24:46-47.

Thirdly, when I share the gospel and testify about Jesus, I should expect difficulty, and anger, sometimes even persecution and hatred. Nonetheless, God will grow his church through the sharing of the gospel. Luke emphasises through repetition that the Jews are trying to kill him in verses 3, 7, 15, and 24. Paul even says in 2 Timothy 3:12, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."