Paul Appeals to Caesar

October 23, 2022 Preacher: Thinus Meyer Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Acts 25:1–12

The book of Acts records five times when Paul made a public defense of his faith in Christ. He defended himself before the crowd at Jerusalem, before the Sanhedrin, before the Roman governor Felix, before the Roman governor Festus, and before King Agrippa II. This passage speaks of Paul’s fourth defense, made before the Roman governor Festus in Caesarea around 60 A.D.

Festus was just coming into power. It was normal for the new procurator to want to visit Jerusalem as soon as possible because this was the religious and cultural center of the people now under his jurisdiction. The chief priests and Jewish leaders wasted no time in appearing before Festus and presenting the charges against Paul (Acts 25:2).

Our text is divided into four parts:

  1. The Jews Case Against Paul (v.1-3)
  2. The Providence of God (v.4-7)
  3. Paul's Defense (v.8-9)
  4. Paul's Appeal to Caesar (v.10-12)

Someone observed that life is like a roll of toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the quicker it goes! Waiting is especially difficult in light of the shortness of life. Because life is so short, it’s difficult when the Lord makes you wait.

Paul must have struggled as he remained in custody in Caesarea. The notice we get in Acts 24:27, seems almost like an insignificant passing comment; "When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison." This verse represents two long years of Paul’s life, and he wasn’t getting any younger. As Paul waited and prayed and prayed and waited, he must have wondered, “Why doesn’t God get me out of here?”.

Even though Paul’s prayers were not answered as quickly as he wished, he learned to be contented in God’s sovereign plan for his life. He submitted to the lordship of Christ by not grumbling, even though Felix was wronging him by not releasing him.

A reporter once asked Mrs. Einstein if she understood the theory of relativity. She replied, “No, but I know Albert and he can be trusted.” As Christians, we may not understand why God makes us wait at times when it seems that we need immediate answers. But we do know the Lord Jesus Christ and He can be trusted.

David wrote, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord” (Ps. 27:13-14).


Getting Started

  1. Impatience is the tendency to be irritable or easily frustrated because you have to wait. Do you have a story to share of impatience? 

Read Acts 25:1-12

    2. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

    3. Did Felix’s politically motivated injustice of leaving Paul in prison frustrate God’s plans for Paul? Give reasons for your answer.

    4. There is no mention of God in verse 27. Paul must have wondered, “Where is God in all of this? Why isn’t God answering my prayers?” Why does God sometimes delay answering prayers that seem so urgent to us? 

    5. Is it hypocrisy to rejoice in the Lord even when you feel like grumbling? Why/why not? How do we rejoice in Him when we don’t feel like rejoicing? Should we fake it?

The Heart of the Matter

    6. How can we keep our focus on the Lord rather than our circumstances, especially when our circumstances seem overwhelming?

    7. How can we know whether we’re supposed to wait for God to act or take action ourselves? See 1 Sam. 13:1-14.

    8. There is nothing wrong with godly desires and hopes for the future. We all should dream about what God may do through us in the future. We should plan, as much as we’re able, by setting godly spiritual goals for our lives. How do we do this and bow and say, “Lord, not my will, but Your will be done with my life. I trust in Your agenda for me.”?

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