Verse 1 – Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.
So the high priest brings with him Tertullus, a Roman, who is probably a Jew also, to bring charges against Paul.
Verse 2 – And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying, “Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight,
Verse 3 – “we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Verse 4 – “Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.
Verse 5 – “For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarene’s.
Nazarene was the name usually given to Christians by way of contempt. They called them this because Jesus was from Nazareth.
Verse 6 – “He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law.
Verse 7 – “But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,
Tertullus left out the part that they beat Paul and if not for the commander these men would have killed Paul on the spot.
Verse 8 – “commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.”
He also left out the plot they had in which they would pretend to bring Paul back for more questioning, and then kill him.
Verse 9 – And the Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.
Verse 10 – Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: “Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself,
Verse 11 – “because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship.
Verse 12 – “And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city.
Verse 13 – “Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.
Verse 14 – “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
Verse 15 – “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of dead, both of the just and the unjust.
Verse 16 – “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
Verse 17 – “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,
Verse 18 – “in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a multitude nor with tumult.
Verse 19 – “They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me.
The witnesses that had been in the temple were not there to accuse Paul. Paul stated if he had caused “a multitude” to be in such a tumult, where were they now?
Verse 20 – “Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council,
Verse 21 – “unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’ ”
Paul justly demanded that the Sanhedrin representatives charge him with things that they had personally witnessed or heard him say, including talk about resurrection of the dead.
Verse 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.”
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.”
Felix and Drusilla intended this to be a matter of entertainment or amusement. However, Paul took this as an opportunity to preach the gospel to them. Paul’s aim was for them to repent and be saved, by telling them the truth. Paul left nothing out of the consequences of the judgment to come of the just and the unjust, and Felix became afraid and told Paul to stop.
Have you ever been with a group of people who profess Christianity, but their behavior is nothing close to the fact, and become very uncomfortable when you start talking about Jesus Christ? They are fine if you only mention God in general, but don’t bring up the name of Jesus, or you will see a major change in their attitude. They want you to stop talking. That’s when the “rubber hits the road.” That’s because they have no personal relationship with the Savior.
Verse 26 – Meanwhile he (Felix) also hoped that money would be given to Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.
Verse 27 – But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.
Paul had proved his innocence and should have been released at once. However, Felix was waiting on a bribe.
When sinners have once grieved God’s Spirit, they often sit with unconcern under the same truth which once had alarmed them, and become entirely hardened and unconcerned. And that my friend, is very dangerous!