One of the features of Luke’s writing is the significance he attaches to last words. For example, in the introduction to his gospel (Luke 1:1–4) where he addresses Theophilus, the last word in the Greek text, where Luke wants the emphasis to fall, is “certainty”. He wants Theophilus to have certainty.
About David Cook
David Cook was Principal of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College for 26 years. He is an accomplished writer and has authored Bible commentaries, books on the Minor Prophets, and several Bible study guides.
Entries by David Cook
Paul arrives on Malta, where Luke records that he and his companions are shown unusual kindness (vv. 2, 10).
Through many dangers, toils, and snares, having faced arrest, opposition, and riots, Paul now faces a natural catastrophe.
Governor Festus sees, in the visit of King Agrippa and his wife Bernice, an opportunity for advice on Paul’s case. He candidly admits that he “was at a loss how to investigate such matters” (Acts 25:20).
The Jewish antagonism towards Paul is persistent. They urgently request (v. 3) the new Roman governor Festus to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem for trial, intending to ambush and kill him along the way. Festus, however, comes to Caesarea where Paul is being held and Paul defends himself before authority again (v. 8), denying the charges of illegality, desecration, and treason.
Having stood before the crowd in Jerusalem (Acts 22) and before the Sanhedrin (Acts 23), Paul now comes before a Roman tribunal at Caesarea, led by the Roman governor, Felix.
Like Jesus before him (John 18:22), Paul is struck on the face by his opponents. Also like Jesus, his words should not have warranted such a response.
Having been rescued from the mob, Paul gives his testimony in Aramaic, the heart language of the people (vv. 1–21). He addresses and identifies with them respectfully, “Brothers and fathers,” and tells them of his own Jewish heritage and training. They listen respectfully until he says that God has appointed him to minister to the Gentiles (v. 21).
Paul has a conviction that he must go to Jerusalem and after that, to Rome (Acts 19:21). He has shared with the Ephesian elders that he is compelled to go to Jerusalem by the Spirit, who also forewarns him of impending persecution and suffering (Acts 20:22–23). Both danger and God’s protection are going to be Paul’s experience.
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