1. Exposition

What was it about Paul’s imprisonment that would have helped to advance the gospel?

Philippians 1:12 (ESV)

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

When we think of the lengthy imprisonment in Caesarea, there were several occasions when the apostle had a chance to defend himself before the ruling authorities. First, he had the opportunity to answer to Felix, in the presence of Jewish accusers (Acts 24:1–23). Second, he was heard by Felix in the presence of his wife Drusilla (Acts 24:24–25), and thereafter on a number of other occasions (Acts 24:26). Third, he was interrogated before Festus in the presence of the Jewish leaders (Acts 25:6–12). Fourth, there was a formal defence before Festus and King Herod Agrippa II with Bernice (Acts 25:13–26:32). Since Paul was transferred to Rome not long after Festus’ arrival, we had best associate his words in Philippians 1:12–13 with the publicity the gospel received at the court of Felix.1