Acts 25:16 (KJV)
To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
When I consider the treatment of Paul by the Romans after his incarceration, I am impressed with the reasonable character of that treatment followed by the brutal end of his life.
The Roman guards’ initial response when they took Paul into custody was to beat him. That changed quickly when they learned he was a Roman citizen. From that moment on their chief concern was to treat him justly.
- They removed him from Jerusalem when they heard there was a plot there to kill him
- They required not once but on numerous occasions that his accusers carry the burden of travel to Caesarea to accuse him to the face
- They gave him the right of appeal to Caesar rather than simply passing this off as a Jewish thing
- They were careful and patient to find what charge to write against Paul but
- They were quick to allow him to defend himself when his accusers did arrive
- They allowed his friends to minister to his needs
- They refused to kill him when the shipwreck threatened to free the prisoners onboard
The system worked-until Paul got to the highest authorities. It was in Rome before Caesar that Paul found corruption.
The United States of America styles its government much after the pattern of ancient Rome. Our American system of government works. There are occasional glitches and evidences of lower level corruption, but the system overall works. Where the temptation for great corruption exists is in the highest levels. It is there we must exercise the greatest precautions in whom we elect to those offices.
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Acts 25:16 Darkness in High Places
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