Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Acts
Book: Acts
Chapter: 25

Paul before Festus, he appeals to Caesar. (1-12) Festus
confers with Agrippa respecting Paul. (13-27)

1-12 See how restless malice is. Persecutors deem it a Peculiar
favour to have their malice gratified. Preaching Christ, the End
of the Law, was No Offence against the Law. In suffering times
the prudence of the Lord's people is tried, as Well as their
patience; they need Wisdom. It becomes those who are innocent,
to insist upon their innocence. Paul was willing to abide By the
rules of the Law, and to let that take its course. If he
deserved Death, he would accept the Punishment. But if none of
the things whereof they accused him were true, No Man could
deliver him unto them, with Justice. Paul is neither released
nor condemned. It is an instance of the slow steps which
Providence takes; By which we are often made ashamed, both of
our hopes and of our fears, and are kept waiting On God.

13-27 Agrippa had the government of Galilee. How many unjust
and hasty judgments the Roman maxim, ver. 16, condemn! This
Heathen, guided only By the Light of nature, followed Law and
Custom exactly, yet how many Christians will not follow the
rules of Truth, Justice, and Charity, in judging their brethren!
The questions about God's Worship, the way of Salvation, and the
truths of the Gospel, may appear doubtful and without interest,
to worldly men and mere politicians. See how slightly this Roman
speaks of Christ, and of the great controversy between the Jews
and the Christians. But the Day is at Hand when Festus and the
whole world will see, that all the concerns of the Roman empire
were but trifles and of No consequence, compared with this
question of Christ's resurrection. Those who have had means of
instruction, and have despised them, will be awfully convinced
of their Sin and folly. Here was a noble assembly brought
together to hear the truths of the Gospel, though they only
meant to gratify their curiosity By attending to the defence of
a prisoner. Many, even now, attend at the places of hearing the
Word of God with "great pomp," and too often with No better
motive than curiosity. And though ministers do not now stand as
prisoners to make a defence for their lives, yet Numbers affect
to sit in Judgment upon them, desirous to make them offenders
for a Word, rather than to learn from them the Truth and will of
God, for the Salvation of their souls. But the pomp of this
appearance was outshone By the real Glory of the Poor prisoner
at the Bar. What was the honour of their fine appearance,
compared with that of Paul's Wisdom, and Grace, and Holiness;
his courage and constancy in suffering for Christ! It is No
small Mercy to have God clear up our Righteousness as the Light,
and our just dealing as the noon-Day; to have nothing certain
laid to our charge. And God makes even the enemies of his people
to do them right.