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Concern from Paul’s Friends & Foes

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George Mueller said that, in 1844, five individuals were laid on his heart. He began to pray for them. Eighteen months passed away before one of them was converted. He prayed on for five years more, and another was converted. At the end of twelve-and-a-half years, a third was con … More

Concern

Felix evidently knew about Christianity, perhaps from His wife Drusilla, she was a Jewess and he also apparently knew that Paul was innocent of the charges that were brought against Him (v. 22). Because of many influential Jews from Jerusalem Felix merely adjourned the case. The pretense he used was that he wanted to hear Lysias’ Testimony. However, Felix gave orders that Paul was to have as much freedom as possible as a prisoner (v. 23). Actually he was given such great liberty to allow his friends in the area to visit him. This would have been a great opportunity for the Christians of Jerusalem and all Judea to come to Paul’s door, and simply let him know that he did not stand alone. However it is sad to note that nothing like this was recorded.

For two years Paul was kept in semi-confinement. During this time Felix and Drusilla talked with Paul who used these opportunities to witness for Christ (v. 24). He pointed out that the Gospel had ethical and moral implications. Felix happened to be in his third marriage and these accusations began to come much closer to home than the couple wished (v. 25). At this Felix told Paul to “Go away for the present.” Felix left Paul in prison to please the Jews, even though He knew Paul was innocent. Felix eventually lost his position, (because of a conflict between Jews and Gentiles) to Porcius Festus, and when Festus took a trip to Jerusalem to check out his new position, the Sanhedrin took this occasion to bring up the old issue once more before the new governor (v. 27). Like many political figures today, Felix had his hand out for graft, a payoff to secure political favor, maybe even release for Paul (v. 26). The Sanhedrin knew the situation had reached a stalemate, so they made no further efforts to demand action.

Application

When trials and troubles come to the people I know, am I concerned enough to contact them and or write them and see how I can help? I need to show more concern for those who are suffering physically and spiritually. Take time to make a list of those in need.

Acts 24:22-27 (English Standard Version)

But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, "When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case." Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs. After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, "Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you." At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.

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