Paul Before Rulers
Acts 24:22-27; 25:1-14; 26:24-32
“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Paul was in custody in Caesarea, the capital of the Roman province of Judea. The Jewish leaders had brought serious charges against him, so Paul now stood before Felix, the governor. Felix listened to Paul’s defense but delayed a ruling. He met with Paul off and on for two years. When his time as governor ended, Felix left Paul in prison because he did not want to upset the Jews.
Festus succeeded Felix as governor. The Jews presented their accusations against Paul and asked Festus to bring him to Jerusalem. They hoped to ambush Paul as he traveled and kill him. But Festus invited Paul’s accusers to make their case in Caesarea. When Festus heard Paul’s case, he asked if Paul wanted to be tried in Jerusalem. Paul, knowing his rights as a Roman citizen, appealed to be heard by Caesar.
Several days later, King Agrippa visited Festus and heard about Paul. He asked to listen to Paul’s defense himself. Festus wasn’t sure how he would justify his sending Paul to Caesar without substantiated charges, and he hoped this hearing would provide stronger evidence against Paul. Agrippa told Paul he was out of his mind, but determined Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.
With these events, Paul was positioned to go to Rome, just as God had said he would. (See Acts 19:21; 23:11.) God had chosen Paul to take the gospel to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. (See Acts 9:15-16.) Paul was confident that Jesus has the power to save people from sin, and he was willing to do whatever it took to share the gospel.
This week, help your kids think about how Paul might have felt as he spoke before rulers and remained in custody for two years. Lead them to consider how God was at work to keep His promises in Paul’s life.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
KEY PASSAGE: Philippians 1:21
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- When should we tell others about Jesus? We should tell about Jesus all the time.
BIBLE STORY: PAUL BEFORE RULERS
- Paul was in prison.
- Paul wanted everyone to believe that Jesus is Lord.
- Paul preached about Jesus to rulers.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why did Paul not stop telling people about Jesus even though people were against him?
- What are some things that may tempt us to not tell others about Jesus?
- Who has the power to save people from sin?
- Pray as a family for local and national leaders. Pray for those who do not believe to turn from sin and be saved. Pray that they would lead in a way that glorifies and honors the Lord.
- Make a “We are praying for you!” card to send to a leader.