After meeting Agrippa we read that Festus laid Paul’s case before the king (vv.14-22). Then, on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. What an event Paul’s trial is turning into!
It seems that Festus is using Paul’s trial as a warm-up, so to speak, before sending him to Caesar. We read that
“…I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, and when he appealed to His Majesty the Emperor, I decided to send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this preliminary hearing I may have something to write.”
(Acts 25.25-26, NET)
Paul is continually being found innocent rather than proven guilty. Can you imagine the strain that this would have put him under? Knowing that he was right yet constantly having to re-prove it? Paul is, again, given the chance to defend himself and the facts of the faith that he is living by (26.1). Paul continues with characteristic endurance and this is something that is often missing in our modern world.
Our lives are often built on or centred around instant gratification: fast food, social media, access to every piece of information ever conceived on a device we carry in our pockets, etc. For Paul, it was more personal. It was slower. He had the type of settled and personal endurance that many of us would benefit from in times of trial.
Today, think on these passages that encourage endurance:
“Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope.”
“I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.”
“Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”