Testifying before Felix

Read: Acts 24:1-27

And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed. (v. 25)

It seems amazing to me that Paul wrote most of the New Testament. Where indeed did he find the time? When we read of his life in the book of Acts, it seems that he was on trial often.

So here he is again, in front of the Roman governor, Felix. Leaders of the Jews from Jerusalem, never giving up their hatred of Paul, followed him to Caesarea, the seat of Felix’s power. This time they brought with them a lawyer, Tertullus, who laid out the case against Paul. He painted a picture of Paul as “a plague,” “one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world,” “a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes,” and one who “even tried to profane the temple” (vv. 5–6).

It is interesting that in these verses Felix is described as one who had “a rather accurate knowledge of the Way” (v. 22). That would imply that he knew these charges against Paul were bogus. Still, he allowed them to stand, but made no judgment. Instead, he simply left Paul in prison for a period of two years!

Why would he do this? Two reasons: first, he was hoping for a bribe from Paul. And second, he wanted to gain the favor of the Jews. So much for justice! And yet, God wasn’t done with Paul—as we shall see. —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask the Lord to provide strength and direction even when we are treated unjustly.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.