Paul’s trials continue in Caesarea, where Felix (the outgoing governor) leaves his case to be decided by Festus (the new governor). Festus does not understand the case because he is a Roman, not a Jew, and has no knowledge of Jewish customs or of the growing, but persecuted, Church. When King Agrippa (grandson of Herod the Great and current puppet King of Judea) arrives to pay his respects to Festus, there is an opportunity to understand the argument more clearly. Agrippa is a Jew (at least by heritage) who has been raised in a Roman setting, so he can comprehend the significance of how God has been working in Paul’s life. Paul is bold and challenging with these powerful men, urging them to follow Jesus. His spiritual authority exceeds the earthly authority of these men.
At the same time Paul is respectful of those in power, even though it is clear from the account that none of them have any understanding of the gospel or the power of salvation. Peter urges us to follow Paul’s respectful approach with earthly authorities, and so demonstrate the power of God to change people. This is good advice for us to take to heart, whether nationally during election cycles, or when things do not go as we wish in local matters.
Have a great day!