Elder, David “Doc” Kenser, leaves us with a daily devotion and reflection!
Having inherited the prisoner Paul of Tarsus from the previous governor, Felix, governor Festus heard his case and asked the apostle if he would agree to go to Jerusalem to face his accusers. Paul, not trusting the Jews, claimed his right as a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar.
Festus agreed to send Paul to Rome but was not sure what to put in the transit letter to Caesar as there didn’t seem to be any evidence of a high crime or anything worthy of the Emporer’s time. Since King Agrippa was visiting in Cessarea, Festus asked him to hear Paul’s case.
After speaking with Paul, Agrippa said that he found nothing worthy of death or real crime himself and that Paul could have been set free except that he had already appealed to Casesar’s Court. So, the apostle Paul, playing his trump card, winds up being sent to Caesar for judgment when he could have been set free: “Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (Acts 26:32).
Big mistake, huh? No, blessed motion! You see, through it all, God had a plan for Paul of reaching out to through Caesar’s Court to the Roman people. Despite the Jews efforts to kill him and all the trouble at sea that seemed to be bent on keeping him from Rome, the Lord was very clear in his plan: “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar…” (Acts 27:23-24).
And upon arriving at Rome, God’s plan unfolds: “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:30:31). And, listened to this salutation Paul sends from Rome to Philippi: “All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household” (Phil 4:22).
Paul was not held in Rome by his chains, Rome was held to Paul. What appeared to be a wrong move put Paul on the right path. Paul’s travel arrangements were not in the hands of the Empire as one might have supposed, they were in the hands of God. If you are in Christ, yours are as well. Jus’ Say’n.