· With Paul safely in the governor’s hands in Caesarea, the high priest, Ananias, is forced to appear and make a case against Paul
· Ananias shows with some of the elders of the council and a lawyer name Tertullus
· Tertullus starts by appealing to Felix’s pride, thanking him for the peace and reforms that he has implemented
· He accuses Paul of being a troublemaker, who has stirred up riots among the Jews (civil unrest)
· He identifies him of being a ringleader for a Nazarene sect (presumably followers of Jesus the Nazarene)
· And accuses him of desecrating the Temple which is why they had seized him
· The other Jews affirmed the accusations given by the lawyer
· Then the governor asked Paul to give his defense
· He starts by also commending Felix, this time for being a good judge
· Paul says that he was in the Temple, but that he did not argue with anyone nor stir up the crowd. He is confident that his accusers can produce no evidence of this.
· He does admit that he follows God along with others who belong to the way
· He does not see “The Way” as a sect because he believes all the prophets and the Law teach as well as the fact that there will be resurrection for the righteous (those who follow God) and the wicked (those who oppose God).
· He affirms his conscience is clear
· He then tells Felix about coming to Jerusalem to deliver an offering for the poor, going through the rite of being ceremonially clean, and not causing a disturbance.
· He also tells of the accusation of those from Asia who should really be the ones presenting a case or that even those present should be more specific on the charges
· He claims that he is really on trial because he believes in the resurrection of the dead
· Felix was familiar with “The Way” and put the decision off until Lysias arrived
· He also ordered Paul to be under guard but with the freedom to visit with friends
· Felix visited Paul with his wife to hear the case again, she was Jewish.
· Paul taught on Faith in Christ, righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come
· Felix was convicted and ended that meeting, however he continually met with Paul hoping Paul would offer him a bribe to free him
· Finally after two years another governor took over and Felix never freed Paul to keep the Jews happy
· Many who oppose Christ aren’t interested in truth, but protecting their status quo
· One of the key aspects of the Gospel is the resurrection
· Judgment is an uncomfortable truth but important in putting Faith in Christ
· Following Jesus isn’t just about love, but also righteousness and self-control
· Many will hear the good news, be interested in it, but not commit to it
Thank you for pouring out your love on the cross by dying in my place. And thank you for giving me new life by the power of your own resurrection. Help me boldly proclaim these truths in grace. Open my eyes to opportunities to share with others your good news and what it means to put Faith in Christ. I know not all will respond, but I pray that you allow me to be part of the story of some who will.
In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
Posted on Mon, March 9, 2015
by Joel King