Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lesson - Paul Before Festus

VERSES:  Acts 25:1-12

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 25:11.  "...I appeal unto Caesar."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review all New Testament books from Matthew to 3 John.

PRAYER:  Thank God for the freedoms we enjoy and sometimes take for granted, May we always appreciate freedom.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Bible map, showing Caesarea and Jerusalem; Large Activity

  • After Felix wasn't in power any longer, there was a new governor who took his place and his name was Festus. We remember that Felix had left Paul in prison because he wanted to make the Jews happy. Felix had said that Paul should stay in prison until Felix heard what Lysias, the chief captain, had to say about Paul. As far as the Bible tells us, Lysias, the chief captain, never appeared before Felix, so Paul was left in prison for two years and Festus became the new governor.
  • Three days after Governor Festus entered into the province, he traveled from Caesarea up to Jerusalem. There, the high priest and the important Jews informed Festus about Paul and how they wanted a favor from Festus. The favor they wanted was to have Festus send Paul to Jerusalem. What they did not tell Festus was they had a plan to wait somewhere along the way to Jerusalem where they would kill Paul.
  • But Festus had his own plan. Festus said that Paul should be left at Caesarea , and since Festus was going there in a short time, that the Jews should go down with him and accuse Paul to see if there was any wickedness in him. 
  • Ten days later, Festus went down to Caesarea and the next day he sat on his judgment seat and commanded that Paul be brought before him. When Paul was standing before Festus, all of the Jews who came down from Jerusalem stood around and told of many terrible things that Paul had done, but none could be proven. This was the same story with the Jews accusing Paul while he stood before the old governor, Felix. The Jew could not prove anything bad about Paul. Paul answered their accusations once again by saying that he had done nothing wrong according to the Jewish Law, against the temple, against Caesar, and had not broken any laws at all.
  • Festus, trying to please the Jews in the room, asked Paul, "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and be judged there?" Paul, being a Roman citizen, replied to Festus, "I stand at Caesar's judgment seat where I ought to be judged. The Jews know I have done nothing wrong as you know, too. If I have committed any crimes worthy of death, I will die, but none of these things I have been accused of is worthy of death. I appeal unto Caesar." When Festus heard Paul's words, he spoke to the council and then told Paul, "You have appealed unto Caesar, then to Caesar you shall go!"
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Because Paul was a Roman citizen, he had the right to appeal to Caesar. 
  • The Bible tells us that Festus, traveling from Caesarea "ascended up to Jerusalem" (Acts 25:1) and later while returning "went down to Caesarea" (Acts 25:6). The reason was because Caesarea was at 1150 feet elevation and Jerusalem was at 2550 feet, a difference of 1400 feet. The Bible is always true and accurate even concerning geography.
  • We notice that there was a change in governors from Felix to Festus. Today, we also have a change in our political rulers such as presidents, governors, senators, and other elected officials.
ACTIVITY:   What Paul Said To Festus
Materials needed:  9" x 12" brown construction paper, 4" x 7" tan construction paper, four 3" circles of different colored construction paper, glue, markers, crayons, scissors.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Write "What Paul Said To Festus" and "Acts 25:1-12" at the top of the paper.
  3. Hand out tan paper.
  4. Using most of the paper, draw a picture of Paul talking.
  5. Cut out, if desired.
  6. Glue Paul in left hand corner of paper.
  7. On one circle, write "The Jews know I have done nothing wrong."
  8. On the second circle, write "You know I have done nothing wrong."
  9. On the third circle, write :None of these things that I have been accused of are worthy of death."
  10. On the fourth circle, write "I appeal to Caesar."
  11. Fold all circles in half, so that when they open up, they can be read easily.
  12. Do not unfold circles.
  13. Glue the bottoms of the circles.
  14. Scatter around on the open space on the brown paper.
  15. Towards the bottom of the brown paper, write "Which words were important to Festus?"
  16. On the flap of the circle that says "I appeal unto Caesar," draw an asterisk, answering the question about what words were important to Festus.