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Default Day 320: Acts 25-28 - 10-24-2016, 04:10 PM

Acts 25
Paul at Court

1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.

The Jews wanted Festus, the new governor, to send Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem. Good thing Festus said no because those dirty Jews wanted to ambush him on the way and kill him (Acts 25:4).

7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.

The Jews lied about Christians then and they lie about Christians today.

11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Paul appeals to Caesar because he knows he’s going to Rome anyway (Acts 23:11). Festus said, “Okay.” (Acts 25:12).

13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.

King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came to Caesarea for a visit, and Festus filled them in on what had been happening. The king wants to hear Paul’s defense and invites himself to court (Acts 25:14-22).

24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.

Festus introduced Paul to King Agrippa and summarized the problem - the Jews want him dead because he keeps talking about a resurrected guy named Jesus, but Roman law allows a Roman citizen to defend himself against accusations, and that only seems reasonable to Festus (Acts 25:25-27).

Acts 26
"I'm Not Crazy, I'm on a Mission from God"

1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:

Here Paul recaps for Agrippa some of his adventures, including hunting down and persecuting Christians, which he can’t be blamed for because he thought he was doing the right thing and his conscience was clear. But then one day Jesus hollered down at him from the heavens and blinded him and all his men and basically hit him over the head with a holy 2 x 4. He was a changed man, and who can blame him (Acts 26:2-18)?

19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

Paul explained the only reason the Jews want him dead is because they want to keep God to themselves, the greedy bastards.

22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Paul, due to a personal invitation from Jesus, and guidance from the Holy Ghost, shared the gospel message to as many as he could. In short he repeated the story that Moses and the prophets talked about the suffering Christ who would be the first to rise from the dead, and salvation would be offered first to the Jews and then to the whole world.

24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
Festus interrupted Paul and cried, “You must be insane, man!”
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

“I’m not crazy! Even the king is almost convinced! I wish you were all as free as I am today, well, except for these shackles, that is” (Acts 26:26-29).

30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

The could not find any base to the accusations, but Paul wanted to go before Caesar, so off he went.

Acts 27
A Three Hour Tour

1And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.

Here the author recounts their travel itinerary that I’m not going to repeat here (Act 27:2-8).

9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,

Paul warns of a dangerous voyage, but the centurion in charge of the prisoners ignored him and listened instead to the ship’s captain. (Acts 27:10-12).

12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

The ship’s captain decided to spend the winter at the port of Phenice, in Crete, because the seas were getting too rough to sale at that time of year, but in strong winds they were blown off course. They couldn’t get to any port because of the weather, and were forced back out into the open waters, lightening the load of their ships by dumping cargo (Acts 27:13-19).

20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
They were on that boat many days without means of navigation, and everyone got depressed and lost hope.

Paul says “I Told You So”

21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

Many days they were lost at sea and Paul told them God was punishing them for not listening to him back there at Crete (Acts 27:10). Nevertheless, if they listen to him now, they won’t die. Paul knows this because in the midst of their starvation and loss of will to live, an angel appeared to him and told him he’s going to see Caesar, which of course was the plan all along (Acts 27:22-25).

26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.
27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country;

For two weeks they suffered at sea, depressed and moping, until eventually they found a place they thought they could land. The problem was, there were too many rocks and the boat was sure to be destroyed before everyone reached the shore. Some shipmen ran to the lifeboats to escape (Acts 27:28-30).

31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

Paul warned them that if they escaped, everyone will die. The shipmen didn’t care, but the soldiers cut the ropes of the boat so it would sail away before the shipmen could get there (Acts 27:32).

33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.

Paul celebrated their imminent safe harbor and everyone joined in. The next day they found land, but didn’t know where they were. (Acts 27:34-40).

44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

In just the nick of time everyone swam to shore safely as the ship broke up behind them.


Acts 28
Land Ahoy

1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.

Turns out they landed on Melita, and were welcomed kindly (Acts 28:2).

3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

No sooner had Paul started a fire than a snake bit him on the hand. The natives were sure this was karma, and that Paul was some kind of criminal and so would die, but Paul shook it off and was just fine. The natives then concluded Paul must have been a god (Acts 28:6).

7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.

Over the course of the three months they were there, Paul healed many people in the community and he and his travelling companions were well liked. They were sent off with all kinds of stuff. If Paul corrected their assumption that he was a god, the bible never says (Acts 28:8-11).

Rome

15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.

Paul finally made it to Rome and put under house arrest (Acts 28:16).

17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

Paul explains to the Roman Jews that he was arrested under trumped up charges, with no other option than to appeal to Caesar, but have no fear because he didn’t come to cause any trouble. He just wants everyone to be a Christian. The Roman Jews were confused because they hadn’t heard anything about any letter, what was going on in Israel or Asia, only that there was a new religion called Christianity and pretty much everyone hates it. Still, they were curious about what Paul had to say (Acts 28:21-22).

23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Paul preached from his home and many Jews came. Some believed him, some thought he was full of malarky. When they left, Paul gave them a parting warning. Isaiah the prophet preached the Word of God too, even though people didn’t get it. Jews are cruel and dimwitted and purposefully obtuse, but the God will save the Gentiles anyway. The Jews left and discussed these things for a long time to come (Acts 28:24-29). All in all, Paul stayed in Rome for two years, trying his hardest to convince anyone who would listen to become a Christian and get right with God before He sends them to hell for all eternity on Judgement day (Acts 28:30-31).
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