In this passage we see truth in Solomon’s assertion that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1.9). We again read of a plot to kill Paul on the road (v.3, cf. 23.12), a Roman politician trying to score point with the Jews (v.1, 9, cf. 24.27), and false accusations being thrown around all too easily (v.7, cf. 24.5-7). Rather than go around and around Paul makes the ultimate appeal for justice that a Roman citizen could make:
“I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I should be tried. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. If then I am in the wrong and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, but if not one of their charges against me is true, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
Then, after conferring with his council, Festus replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!”
(Acts 25.10-12, NET, emphasis added)
Paul invokes his right as Roman to have his case heard by Caesar himself. Not trying to avoid the proper legal recourse (I am not trying to escape dying), Paul seems confident that before the ultimate authority truth will win out. Appealing to Caesar would have, at this time, taken him to Caesar Nero ¹. Later he became known as a great persecutor of Christians, but history records that the first few years of his reign were much milder and filled with more wisdom.
“Up to the year 59, Nero’s biographers cite only acts of generosity and clemency on his account.”
For you and for me, we need not appeal to Caesar as the ultimate authority. Day by day we have the living and active Word of God to help us discern what is right and wrong, what is true and what is false. Between the Word and the indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 3.16) the modern-day believer lacks no resource when seeking truth and discernment.