Paul Plays His Trump Card

Paul addresses Governor Festus
Image source: Sweet Publishing/

In today’s Bible reading*, Paul gives his defense before Festus. The Jewish leaders bring unsubstantiated charges against Paul. Trying to do the Jews a favor, Festus asks Paul if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem for trial. Paul responds that he is testifying where he needs to testify: before Caesar’s tribunal. (Acts 25:10) He adds that unless their charges can be proven, he shouldn’t be sent to a lower court. So, he appeals to Caesar. (Acts 25:11)

At this point, Paul has thrown down his trump card. Being a Roman Citizen, he has the right to be heard. As I said a few days ago, Paul simply uses his dual citizenship to his advantage.


Paul knew his rights as a Roman Citizen. When the Jewish leaders tried to convince the Romans to execute Paul, he simply requested a fair application of the law. And Paul knew that the Jewish leaders didn’t have a case against him according to the Jewish Law, nor the Roman Law. He knew the facts were on his side.

Even if the facts are on your side, you may not always get fair treatment under the legal system of your country of citizenship. But one place you will get fair treatment is in the Kingdom of God. But you won’t be treated fairly according to your behavior. Instead, you will be treated according to the behavior of the One Who granted you citizenship into this Kingdom: Jesus Christ.

Trust me, you don’t want “fair” in the Kingdom of God. “Fair” will get you sent to a very hot Hell for the rest of eternity. You want grace and mercy. In the Kingdom of God, you want to take advantage of the offer of the very unfair exchange of Jesus’ righteousness for your unrighteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

* Today we are reading Acts 25.

This devotional was originally published on February 26, 2020.

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