SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- After two years of imprisonment, Paul is back on trial with a new politician, Festus. The prosecution recycles the same unsubstantiated charges as before. This time Paul doesn’t defend himself but instead appeals to Caesar. (This appeal is similar to asking that a trial in the U.S. be raised to the Supreme Court.) Festus grants Paul’s request.
- A few days later, Festus has King Agrippa as a guest and they discuss Paul’s situation. Festus agrees Paul should stand trial in Rome but the problem is that there are no legitimate charges to bring.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Agrippa grew up geographically near Jesus, Peter and Paul, but he had no interest in them. And even though his homeland was Palestine and his capitol Jerusalem, his loyalties lied with Rome and the Emperor. Agrippa chose loyalty to government above loyalty to God.
- There will always be temptations to make something else more important than God, but He deserves and demands first place in our lives (Matthew 6:33).
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Do you feel any conflict between competing loyalties? Maybe like Agrippa, you put the badge of Democrat or Republican above God. Or maybe it's your career or even your family. Good things can become bad when we put them ahead of Jesus. What are you tempted to put in a higher place than God? Take a moment and talk to God about all this and ask Him to help you give Him your full loyalty.