June 15th Acts 24 Paul before Ananias & Felix
1: And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 2: And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, 3: We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 4: Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5: For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 6: Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. 7: But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8: Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. 9: And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. 10: Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: 11: Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 12: And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: 13: Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14: But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16: And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
After five days the Ananias the High Priest and the elders of Israel come down to Caesarea where Paul was kept safe and they brought down one of their big guns a man called Tertullus. He was an orator that is he was exceptionally gifted in public speaking, very clever and had the ability to persuade crowds with his skills and tricks of speech. He moved behind the scenes, in secret, to prejudice the governor. The Jews were going to use every trick they had against Paul. When Paul was called to answer charges, in open court, Tertullus began with flattery and mock humility. He also used the blackest terms to smear Paul called him vermin, a secret traitor and a leader of the Christians which he called 'Nazarenes'. He said that he defiles the temple and that he would had been judged according to Jewish law but that the chief captain, Lysias intervened and took him by violent means. This is an insult to the captain of the guard. And it conveniently ignores the murderous intent of the assassins. Their intent was murder but Lysias’s intent was to rescue a Roman citizen. The Jews that were gathered agreed with these charges. Paul was given an opportunity to answer by the governor. He began, Because l know that you have been a governor for quite some time l am glad to speak. This as we can see is not flattery just a comment on the fact that the governor has been around a while and therefore he has quite a lot of knowledge of Jewish affairs. This gave Paul some cheer. He said it is only twelve days ago that l went to Jerusalem to worship and nobody found me disputing in the temple with anyone, nor raising up the people, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city. In other words he is saying l have caused no public nuisance anywhere in Jerusalem. Nor can they prove anything that they say about me - its just hearsay. However, l do confess that l am a christian which they say is heresy. I worship the God of my fathers and l believe all that is written in the OT. And l have hope in God, which they also agree with, that there will be a resurrection of the dead. A resurrection of the just (at the beginning of the Kingdom) and of the unjust (at the end of the kingdom). Paul says it is in these things that l live my life with a clear conscience before God and toward men. What Paul is stating here is exactly the same as what every Pharisee believes. Paul is claiming that if he is to be condemned then every Pharisee in Israel must be condemned with him.
- How did the Jews try to win the argument against Paul?
- How does Paul answer these serious charges?
- How does he describe his faith?