Devotional Thought : Acts 25:11
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! Acts 25:11
Paul appeals to the secular authorities. There are times to accept injustice with a Christ-like attitude but there are also times to appeal to the justice system of the land. These situations require God’s wisdom to know when to do this.
Paul’s appeal to Caesar is during his trial before Festus. It was in response to Festus wanting to send Paul back to Jerusalem. We read, “They (the chief priests and the Jewish leaders) 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” (verse 3). It’s remarkable that these Jews who claimed Paul didn’t abide by the Law of Moses didn’t abide by it themselves—perverting the course of justice and trying to kill Paul.
Paul’s case goes before King Agrippa who comes out with the ridiculous statement, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (Acts 26:32). The overwhelming injustice of this statement is an ignorant remark intended to annoy and discourage Paul. Later Paul explains to the Jews in Rome he had to appeal to Caesar to avoid being sent to Jerusalem and being killed by his opponents on the way. “I was compelled to appeal to Caesar” (Acts 28:19).
Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances, where whatever course of action we decide to take is criticised by those around us or by those in authority over us. At such times, like Paul, we have to trust that God is ultimately in control and whatever the outcome we know his plans will prevail.