ACTS 24 - PAUL'S TRIAL BEFORE FELIX

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


Paul has just been brought to Caesarea by a small army of soldiers and is preparing to appear before Felix, the Roman procurator.

The Prosecution of Paul

A. The accusers - Acts 24:1

And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with a certain attorney named Tertullus; and they brought charges to the governor against Paul. (Acts 24:1)

B. The accusations

1. against Paul - Acts 24:2-6

And 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, we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. "But, that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing. "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. "And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. And we wanted to judge him according to our own Law. (Acts 24:2-6)

a. a pest

b. an agitator (mover of sedition)

c. ringleader of Christians

d. profaner of the temple

2. against Lysias - Acts 24:7-9

"But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands, ordering his accusers to come before you. And by examining him yourself concerning all these matters, you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him." And the Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. (Acts 24:7-9)

The Propositions of Paul

A. Argument of the time involved - Acts 24:10-11. Twelve days was not sufficient time to do all that he was accused of doing.

And 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, since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. (Acts 24:10-11)

B. Argument of the purpose involved

1. his purpose was worship - Acts 24:11

2. his purpose was to bring offerings for the temple and aid for the poor - Acts 24:17

"Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings; (Acts 24:17)

C. Argument of the people involved - Acts 24:18-19. The Jews from Asia who had originally accused him were not represented in the courtroom.

in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were certain Jews from Asia-- who ought to have been present before you, and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me. (Acts 24:18-19)

The Prospects for Paul

A. A decision postponed - Acts 24:22-23

But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, "When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case." And 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. (Acts 24:22-23)

B. A faith rejected - Acts 24:24-25

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. And 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." (Acts 24:24-25)

C. A bribe anticipated - Acts 24:26

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

D. A favor granted - Acts 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. (Acts 24:27)

Study Questions

1. Tertullus tried to picture Felix as a man of peace - Paul and Lysias as men of violence. Was this good strategy?

2. Did Paul present an intelligent and consistently organized defense?

3. Why did Paul bring up the question of the resurrection?

4. How much liberty did Paul have in prison? - Acts 24:23

And 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. (Acts 24:23)

5. What three things did Paul emphasize in his message to Felix? - Acts 24:25

And 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." (Acts 24:25)

6. Why did Felix tremble? - Acts 24:25

7. Did Felix have some ulterior motives in listening to Paul? - Acts 24:26

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


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