Thursday, November 15, 2018
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ACTS ~ Chapter 24
Five days later, Ananias the high priest arrived, accompanied by some elders and a lawyer by the name of Tertullus, who made a complaint against Paul before Felix. When he was called on, Tertullus began his charge by saying, ‘Most excellent Felix, because of you we are enjoying real peace, and through your forethought wrongs have been righted in this nation. It is with joy and thankfulness that we accept these things in every way and in every place. And now, in order not to weary you with all this, I simply want to ask you to give us, out of kindness, a brief hearing. We have found this man to be a pest, an organizer of insurrections among all the Jews and the whole world – a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the Temple, but we caught him and would have judged hi according to our Law. But Lysias, the colonel, stepped in with great force and took him out of our hands. And he ordered his accusers to be brought before you. By questioning him yourself you will be able to learn from him everything of which we accuse him.’ The Jews agreed to this statement, declaring that these accusations were true.
The governor then gave Paul a signal to make an answer, and he said, “I am rather happy to defend myself, knowing as I do that you have been a judge over this nation for a number of years. You can easily find out that it is not more than 12 days since I went to Jerusalem to worship. Also they did not find me in argument with anybody or stirring up the people in the Temple or synagogues, or the city. Nor can they prove any of the charges that they make against me.
But this I do admit, that I worship the God of our fathers, according to the new way they call heresy; but I believe everything that has been recorded in the Law and the prophets. In Elohei I have a hope for the very things that they themselves are looking for, namely – that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. And therefore I train myself to have a good conscience before Elohim and man.
After being away for a number of years, I returned to bring alms to my people and present offerings. They found me in the Temple, purified, not in a crowd, nor in rioting. But there are some Jews there from the province of Asia. They should have been here to complain if they had anything against me. Or let these men here give an account of what blame they found in me when I stood before the council. Yes, there was one thing they resented; for I cried out, ‘I am here to be tried concerning my hope for the resurrection of the dead.’”
Then Felix, who already had considerable knowledge of the Christian Way, postponed the case, saying, ‘When Lysias, the colonel comes down, I will finish the examination of your case. Then he gave orders to the captain to keep Paul in custody, but with some liberty, and not to keep his friends from seeing and helping him.
Some days later Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess (). He sent for Paul and listened to him speak of faith in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach. And when he spoke about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgement, Felix became frightened and said, ‘Go now, and I will send for you when it will be convenient for me.’ He was hoping that Paul would give him money for his release. For that reason, too, he sent for him often and conversed with him. Then, after 2 years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but Felix, wishing to gain favor with the Jews, left Paul in custody.
Roman Governor Felix
Drusilla the Jewess consort of Felix