Paul had been on trial at Caesarea before Felix, the emperor and ruler of Judea. The Jewish Sanhedrin, a ruling body made of Pharisees and Sadducees charged the apostle with sedition and attempting to profane the temple in Jerusalem, offenses punishable by death.
“22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.” (Acts 24:22)
When the emperor heard the Sanhedrin’s charges as well as Paul’s account, and was made aware his prisoner was a Christian who indeed worship the same God as the Jews, he called on Lysias, the Roman commander in Jerusalem to add his testimony to the case.
“23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.” (Acts 24:23)
Even though he did not find him guily of a crime, instead of releasing Paul, which would have greatly upset the Jews, Felix ordered a centurion to keep guard of the prisoner and allow him a certain level of freedom. The emperor’s hope was that Paul’s friends would bribe him to release the apostle, a common custom in those days.
“24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.” (Acts 24:24)
Drusilla was the sister of King Agrippa and the daughter of Herod, who was smitten by an angel of the Lord and eaten of worms at Cæsarea. She had been the wife of Azizus, the king of Emesa, whom she left then married Felix. Because like Paul, her late father had been a persecutor of Christians, she showed interest in her’s husband’s prisoner as both Felix and she invited the apostle to share the gospel of the Christ.
“25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24:25)
On a divinely appointed mission, and compelled by the Holy Spirit, Paul’s preaching focused on areas where Felix realized he was not living a life pleasing to God, rather according to the apostle’s teaching, the emperor was headed straight to Hell where he would burn for all eternity. The vision of an agonizing afterlife scared Felix to such an extent, he dismissed Paul.
“26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.” (Acts 24:26)
Most Roman governors, including Felix were corrupt in the way they took bribes and were driven by greed as rulers of the land. The emperor of Judea capitalized on his prisoner until, he hoped, a bribe would be paid to release the apostle.
“27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.” (Acts 24:27)
By A.D. 60, paul had been a prisoner at Cæsarea for two years when Felix, because of accusations against him, was succeeded by Porcius Festus, a more upright governor. To tame the Jews, who were among his accusers, Felix turned Paul over to the new Roman governor. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre