When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected...
In private conference, Festus informs King Agrippa about Paul’s case. He shares his surprise at the charges leveled against Paul. They were not crimes a judge normally expects to hear.
Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion…
It is a sad state of affairs when people who claim to believe in the same God do not respect one another. Sadder still, when the discord rises to the level of hate and even persecution! Obviously the case with Paul's accusers!
If the God who created mankind gives freedom of choice and conscience to every person in the world, by what right do men appoint themselves guardians of the truth as they see it, and then actively seek to harm those who disagree with them?
It must break God’s heart to see anyone doing such things in the name of religion. In the name of God!
Worse yet is the effect such discord among believers has on those who do not yet believe in God! It must be very confusing!
Is it coincidental that not one of the judges before whom Paul has defended himself responded favorably to his message about Jesus? Not Felix, not Festus,! Nor will King Agrippa when he hears the message!
Paul is not able preach the message under the best conditions. And his judges are not able to hear the Good News about Jesus without prejudice. A prejudice all persons naturally feel when religious people are at each other’s throats.
Paul was respectful and did his best to defend himself in a kind manner. He presented the case for faith in Jesus in a most loving manner. But the context of discord was simply too much to overcome.
In such a situation, Festus says it best - I was at a loss how to investigate such matters.