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Acts 25      English Standard Version (ESV)


Paul Appeals to Caesar

Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”

After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”



  • Two years had passed since the last trial, and Festus had become the new governor. The Jews had not given up. The Jewish leaders “requested” that Festus transfer Paul to Jerusalem so that he could be put on trial (v3). They were, in fact, preparing to ambush Paul on the way and kill him. Festus refused but asked the Jewish leaders to come to Caesarea for the trial.
  • In Caesarea, Festus convened the court. Paul was brought in and the Jewish leaders stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him that “they could not prove” (v7). Paul had a brief but strong defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense” (v8).
  • Paul has kept his identity as a Roman, a Jew, and a Christian. He diligently labored for the Lord, he obeyed the Roman’s law, and he didn’t defy the Temple and the Jewish tradition.  And Festus and King Agrippa knew he was innocent.
  • Every one of us carries different identities: a citizen of a country, an employee of a company, a student of a school, a friend to someone, a member of a family. How are you keeping your various identities?