1 非斯都到了任，過了三天，就從凱撒利亞上耶路撒冷去。2 祭司長和猶太人的首領向他控告保羅， 3 又央告他，求他的情，將保羅提到耶路撒冷來，他們要在路上埋伏殺害他。4 非斯都卻回答說：「保羅押在凱撒利亞，我自己快要往那裡去。」 5 又說：「你們中間有權勢的人與我一同下去，那人若有甚麼不是，就可以告他。」 6 非斯都在他們那裡住了不過十天八天，就下凱撒利亞去。第二天坐堂，吩咐將保羅提上來。7 保羅來了，那些從耶路撒冷下來的猶太人周圍站著，將許多重大的事控告他，都是不能證實的。8 保羅分訴說：「無論猶太人的律法、或是聖殿、或是凱撒，我都沒有干犯。」 9 但非斯都要討猶太人的喜歡，就問保羅說：「你願意上耶路撒冷去，在那裡聽我審斷這事嗎？」10 保羅說：「我站在凱撒的堂前，這就是我應當受審的地方。我向猶太人並沒有行過甚麼不義的事，這也是你明明知道的。11 我若行了不義的事，犯了甚麼該死的罪，就是死，我也不辭！他們所告我的事若都不實，就沒有人可以把我交給他們。我要上告於凱撒。」 12 非斯都和議會商量了，就說：「你既上告於凱撒，可以往凱撒那裡去。」
1Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, 2where the chief priests and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 3They urgently requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. 4Festus answered, “Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. 5Let some of your leaders come with me and press charges against the man there, if he has done anything wrong.” 6After spending eight or ten days with them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him. 7When Paul appeared, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove. 8Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” 9Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?” 10Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. 11If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” 12After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
- Paul has kept his identity as a Roman, a Jew, and a Christian. He diligently laboured for the Lord, he obeyed the Roman’s law, and he didn’t defy the Temple. Therefore, Festus and King Agrippa knew he was innocent.
- Everyone has different identities, a citizen of a country, an employee of a company, a student of a school, a friend to someone, a member of a family. How am I keeping my various identities? In trying to maintain one identity, am I overlooking the others? Who am I at the core of my identity?
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I need to change and improve. Ask God for the needed strength.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Ask everyone to ask this question: Who Are You? Discuss some of the roles/identities each mentions. What are the responsibilities and privileges of such role? Are you a good …….? How can we become better ……? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help each one to be better ……… Record this in your Family Devotional Journal.