Acts 24. Forum Discussion

In Chapter 24, Paul is brought up on charges in front of the Governor, Felix. The charges were brought by the high priest, Ananias, and his attorney, Tertullus. The charges that Tertullus mentioned were as follows:

“For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him.”

Paul is once again allowed to speak on his own behalf and says beginning in Acts 24:10:

Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense, since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot.Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me.But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings; in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were some Jews from Asia— 19 who ought to have been present before you and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me. Or else let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council, other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.’”

Felix originally said that he would decide Paul’s case, “When Lysias the commander comes down.” Luke writes in verse 23 that Felix said, “Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.”

Something apparently changed and Luke tells us, “But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.” Felix was hoping for money from Paul according to verse 26, perhaps bribe money. Luke also writes that Felix became very frightened (Acts 24:25) and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”

Why was Felix afraid? We can only speculate as it is not spelled out for us in the Bible. From what we have seen, the leaders were more interested in trying to please the people than doing what was right. As we discussed during our study on Acts 23, “Seems like such a corrupt Government. Try to please this group by doing this . . . try to please that group by doing that. True leaders do what they believe is right, not what is popular. Godly rulers do what is right in the sight of God, not man. The world needs more Godly leaders.”

Thankfully, we have Paul’s example of standing firm in his faith and doing what he knows to be right by God. It is this example that deserves our respect and attention so that we too can stand firm in our faith when we face our own trials and tribulations. Amen

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