Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 24:22-27

Chapter 24:22 But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias as the commander comes down, I will decide your case.”

Chapter 24:23 Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.

Chapter 24:24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.

Chapter 24:25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”

Chapter 24:26 At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given to him by Paul: therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him.

Chapter 24:27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.

In verse 22, Felix put off the decision about Paul by professing that because Lysias was not there, he did not have enough evidence about the case. However, we see in this verse that it states that Felix had a more exact knowledge of the Way. Paul was ordered to be put into custody but this was some kind of loose military confinement which allowed him to see his friends and have them minister to him.

In verses 24-25, Paul lays out the three points to Felix and we see that Felix and Drusilla avoid making a spiritual decision. These three points made in verse 25 were righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. We are not certain how Paul made these points to Felix and Drusilla but surely he spoke to them about the righteousness that is ours in Jesus Christ, self-control, which this couple did not have as Drusilla was the third wife of Felix and had been stolen away by him from her prior husband. The third and final point was that there was eternal judgment to come. Wasn’t Paul bold to make these point to Felix and Drusilla seeing that he was under confinement by Felix?

We see that Felix was afraid and by sending Paul away he was putting off the spiritual decision that he needed to make by rejecting Jesus Christ. How many times in our lives have we seen this take place? It may have happened in our own lives. We or others that we know say I will do it later. Jesus Christ may come in the next moment and it will be too late. I will always wonder what became of Felix and Drusilla later in their lives. Did they continue to reject Jesus Christ or accept Him as their savior?

Finally, Felix makes a decision to appease the Jews by leaving Paul imprisoned while he was replaced by Porcius Festus, who became Felix’s successor around 58 A.D. It is important to remember here that as a Roman magistrate a case could be decided whenever the magistrate felt like it, which sometimes meant very long delays as was the case here. Lord, help me to be bold like Paul in sharing you with others and to live in a manner where you get the glory from my life!!!

Some Thoughts About Forgiveness From Various Authors

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Mahatma Gandhi (All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections (Impacts)

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”

C.S. Lewis

“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget.”

Robert Jordan

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”

Oprah Winfrey

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Mark Twain

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 24:10-21

Chapter 24:10 When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense,

Chapter 24:11 since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.

Chapter 24:12 “Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot.

Chapter 24:13 “Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me.

Chapter 24:14 “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;

Chapter 24:15 having a hope in God which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

Chapter 24:16 “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men,

Chapter 24:17 “Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings;

Chapter 24:18 in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were some Jews from Asia—

Chapter 24:19 who ought to have been present before you and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me.

Chapter 24:20 “Or else let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council,

Chapter 24:21 other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.'”

We can see that Paul was thrilled to address Felix about these false charges and also notice that he did not use flattery as was used previously by Tertullus. Paul had only been in Jerusalem seven days, which really meant that this was too short a time to start a riot. Notice that this had happened very recently, yet the prosecution could not bring a single witness forward to prove that Paul was indeed in the temple disrupting or causing a riot.

In verse 14, we see that Paul made it clear to Felix that he had not given up the God of the Jews nor the Law and the Prophets. Paul further explains to Felix that because he brought up the resurrection of the dead that was why he was on trial. Similar to other Jews, but not the Sadducees, Paul believed in a resurrection of the dead. Paul further believed that this resurrection was for both righteous and unrighteous.

Then in verse 17, Paul states for the only time mentioned in Acts that Paul brought alms from the Gentiles to the poor in Jerusalem. This was also mentioned in Romans 15:25-28, 2 Corinthians 8:13-14 and 9:12-13. Paul further reminds Felix that there were no eyewitness present to contradict Paul’s statements. This complaint was bogus and was being conducted in a kangaroo court. The lesson to be learned here is that we as Christians should never be ashamed of the truth. By following God, we should embrace the truth and stand for our beliefs. We should not back down!!!

Commentary On The Book of Acts Chapter 24:1-9

Chapter 24:1 After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges to the governor against Paul.

Chapter 24:2 After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying to the governor, “Since we have through you attained much peace, and since by your providence reforms are being carried out for this nation,

Chapter 24:3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.

Chapter 24:4 “But that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing.

Chapter 24:5 “For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Chapter 24:6 “And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. [We wanted to judge him according to our own Law.

Chapter 24:7 “But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands,

Chapter 24:8 ordering his accusers to come before you.] By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him.”

Chapter 24:9 The Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so.

Ananias and the Jewish leadership brought a lawyer named Tertullus, who was most likely a Roman, to present the case against Paul. This group of men coming all the way to Caesarea shows how much the Jews would do to be rid of Paul. We see in verse 2, that Tertullus begins his accusation against Paul to Felix, who was the governor at the time. He was a former slave and was the first slave to ever become a governor of a province. He was extremely cruel and had put down numerous rebellions at this point. Tertullus was using flattery, which was a lie, to impress Felix, which in truth was exactly opposite of how the Jews truly felt about him.

We see in verse 5, that the Jews considered Paul to be politically dangerous by pronouncing him to be a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Paul was thus to be despised along with Jesus and his followers, namely The Way. Tertullus has no real charges against Paul. We see the true character of Tertullus in these verses. On one hand, he could lie and flatter and then on the other he could offer no evidence for the charges that were being trumped up against Paul.

In verse 7 and 8, Tertullus argues that Lysias had exceeded his authority by bringing Paul to Felix rather than allowing a trial by the Jews for profaning the Temple. The other Jewish accusers in verse 9, also chime in and offer their opinions but they have no real evidence either. There is quite a bit to be learned in these verses about true character and also about character that is lacking. I urge you to read these verse over again to determine what each of the characters strengths and weaknesses are. What were their real purposes?

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 23:22:35

Chapter 23:22 So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, “Tell no one that you have notified men of these things.”

Chapter 23:23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearman.”

Chapter 23:24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor.

Chapter 23:25 And he wrote a letter having this form:

Chapter 23:26 “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix, greetings.

Chapter 23:27 “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

Chapter 23:28 And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council;

Chapter 23:29 and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment.

Chapter 23:30 “When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you.”

Chapter 23:31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by to night to Antiparis.

Chapter 23:32 But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks.

Chapter 23:33 When these had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.

Chapter 23:34 When he had read it, he asked from what province he was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia,

Chapter 23:35 he said, “I will give you a hearing after you accusers arrive also,” giving orders for him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.

There would be 470 very well-trained Roman soldiers to protect one man Paul, on his trip from Jerusalem to Caesarea. Was God involved in this? I surely believe so by the fact that God wanted to show Paul and the world that what Paul was proclaiming about Jesus and his resurrection was true.

So we see that Lysias sent a letter to Felix, who was the Roman procurator or governor of Judea from A.D. 52 to most likely A.D. 58, and had his headquarters in Caesarea. Lysias lies in the letter that he had learned of Paul’s Roman citizenship immediately but forgets to mention that Paul was bound twice as well as scourged. The most important verse in this section is verse 29, where Lysias mentions that nothing charged against Paul was deserving of death or even being chained. This would be very important to other Roman officials as Paul was moved to Rome.

The soldiers went only as far as Antiparis, as this was the most dangerous part of the journey to Caesarea. The rest of the way to Caesarea was primarily open country and was inhabited by the Gentiles. As we see also, the assassins plot to kill Paul failed. I wonder what happened to the assassins and their vow.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 23:11-21

Chapter 23:11 But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

Chapter 23:12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

Chapter 23:13 There were more than forty who formed this plot.

Chapter 23:14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

Chapter 23:15 “Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place.”

Chapter 23:16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul.

Chapter 23:17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him.”

Chapter 23:18 So he took him and led him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you.”

Chapter 23:19 The commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, “What is it that you have to report to me?”

Chapter 23:20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him.

Chapter 23:21 So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you.”

In verse 11, Paul is most likely highly discouraged because of what he feels like were lost opportunities to spread the Gospel, but the Lord comes to him for the third time. The first time the Lord appeared to Paul was at his conversion in Acts 9:5 and the second time was at Corinth in Acts 18:9-10. The lesson to be learned here is that Christ knows where we are at all times and most of all He understands what we are going through. We must remember this and hang on to it!!! Christ wants to meet us and help us in whatever circumstances that we are in. He is there with us!!! Paul, most likely understood that his ministry was coming to a close, maybe even through death in Jerusalem, but Jesus encouraged him to continue to fight the good fight because he was called to go to Rome also. We see in verse 12, a group of Jewish assassins form a bound to kill Paul and make a vow not to eat nor drink till this is accomplished. These men did not lack commitment in what they wanted to do nor in their beliefs, but the important thing to remember here is that just because they had this commitment and these beliefs does not make it right before God. These men were willing to lie and sin to accomplish their goals!!!

But God intervenes in verse 16 by using Paul’s sister’s son to relay the message to Paul and then to the centurion and the commander. Jesus had promised Paul in Acts 23:11 that He would protect Paul because he still had work to do in Rome. We see in verse 18, that Paul is called the prisoner and even though he had committed no crime, the Roman commander thought that Paul may be some type of instigator against the Roman Empire. In Paul’s escape to Caesarea, the commander took no chances that any harm would come to Paul. He sent 470 highly trained Roman soldiers to escort him. Could God have been showing these assassins of His mighty power through the use of these Roman soldiers? I find it interesting also that Paul was provided not just one horse but several in order to leave Jerusalem!!!

God shows incredible power in these verses, but the most powerful way in which He worked was in Pauls’ life. Paul was completely helpless here on his own, but he made himself available for God to use him in whatever way He wanted. This is a very powerful lesson. He cannot use us for His purposes until we empty ourselves of our needs and concerns and put His priorities first. He is not interested in our abilities but our availabilities!!!

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 22:30-Chapter 23:10

Chapter 22:30 But on the next day, wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them.

Chapter 23:1 Paul, looking intently at the Council, said “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.”

Chapter 23:2 The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth.

Chapter 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”

Chapter 23:4 But the bystanders said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”

Chapter 23:5 And Paul said, “I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.'”

Chapter 23:6 But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!”

Chapter 23:7 As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

Chapter 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

Chapter 23:9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

Chapter 23:10 And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

The Roman commander, seemingly being a fair man, did not understand why Paul was being accused by the Jews, but with a clearer understanding he could decide what needed to be done. He called for the Sanhedrin, which was the Jewish council and made up of 70 or 72 elders and teachers. The Sanhdrin were more than glad to hear this so that Paul’s case would not go directly to the Roman governor in Caesarea.

Then in Chapter 23:1, Paul begins his speech boldly before the Sanhedrin and expressed that he, even with a good conscience had done wrong in his life, been convicted before God, and made things right. Then in verse 2, Paul, because he did not recognize the high priest properly, is struck in the mouth by the bystanders. Apparently, he did not recognize Ananias properly or Ananias was upset about Paul’s remark about a good conscience. Paul responds to the blow by speaking out in anger that Ananias was a whitewashed wall, or in other words a hypocrite! Paul knew he was wrong in getting angry, but by his statement in verse 5, we do not know whether Paul really did not know that Ananias was the high priest or whether Paul was being sarcastic.

Next in verses 6-9, we see Paul’s cleverness by using the beliefs of the Pharisees versus the beliefs of the Sadducees. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection as well as angels and spirits while the Sadducees denied these. By Paul saying this, he gained the Pharisees as an ally and let them have the war of words with the Sadducees. Of course, there was intense bickering and the Roman commander came to Paul’s aid. This cleverness by Paul rescued him from the Sanhedrin but he lost the opportunity to preach and witness to them.