Paul Appeals to Caesar

Read: Acts 25:1-12

Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.” (v. 12)

What a gift to the church was the apostle Paul! Thanks to his big vision, he would not back down. We saw earlier that he desired to go to Rome to share the gospel in that great city. In today’s reading, he put an exclamation point on that goal by saying, “I appeal to Caesar.” Nothing less would do.

If tried in Jerusalem, Paul knew he would never leave there alive. But it was not saving his own skin that led Paul to appeal to Caesar. He wanted to go to Rome and even into the presence of the Caesar himself to testify for Jesus. Hadn’t Jesus said, “You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles” (Matt. 10:18). This was taking place right before his very eyes as he witnessed about Jesus before Roman governors, kings, and now before Caesar, the most powerful man in the world!

It wasn’t easy. But Paul persevered, and indeed, as we find out in his letter to the Philippians, he made it all the way into Caesar’s palace: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ” (Phil. 1:12-13). —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask God to lead you into opportunities for sharing the gospel.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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