Acts 24

Feb 2, 2020 // By:dave cadieux // No Comment

A Baptist pastor was presenting a children’s sermon. During the sermon, he asked the children if they knew what the resurrection was.

Now, asking questions during children’s sermons is crucial, but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous.

Having asked the children if they knew the meaning of the resurrection,

a little boy raised his hand……..

The pastor called on him and the little boy said, “I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts more than four hours you are supposed to call the doctor.” It took over ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough for the service to continue.

Certainly, a wrong understanding of resurrection

We laugh, silly child

Everyone knows what resurrection is

 

(do we ?) What is resurrection ?

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.

Tertullus is a greek name (not Roman). Likely a Hellenistic Jew (Greek, educated in affairs of Empire but loyal to Judaism)

Felix (vs 23:26)

is a cruel, string pulling Roman

Antonius Felix

  • born a slave and freed by Antonia, the mother of the emperor Claudius.
  • brother of Pallas, who was also a freedman of Antonia
  • became a good friend of the young prince Claudius in the imperial household.
  • Felix was appointed to a subordinate government post in Samaria under the provincial governor Ventidius Cumanus. (Through the influence of his brother, Pallas, in A.D. 48)
  • In A.D. 52 Claudius appointed him governor of Judea when Cumanus was deposed
  • During his governorship, insurrections and anarchy increased throughout Palestine. Try as he would to put down the uprisings and regain control, his brutal methods only alienated the Jewish population more and led to further disturbances (cf. Jos. War II, 253-70 [xiii.2-7]; Antiq. XX, 160-81 [viii.5-8]). Tacitus described him as “a master of cruelty and lust who exercised the powers of a king with the spirit of a slave” (Historiae 5.9).
  • Despite his low birth, Felix had a succession of three wives, each in her own right a princess (cf. Suetonius Vita Claudius 28).
    • The first was the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, making Felix the grandson-in-law (Claudius being a grandson) of Antony.
    • The third was Drusilla, the youngest daughter of Agrippa I,
  • Nero recalled Felix to Rome sometime during A.D. 59. Nothing is known of his subsequent fate.

 

We are going to read about this Felix today. The procurator who became the procrastinator!

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,

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

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

typical court procedure; it includes the

  1. filing of charges,
  2. prosecution of the plaintiff’s spokesman
  3. answer from the defendant .
  4. After hearing the arguments the judge normally rendered a verdict.

But this case has some unique twists to it because of the nature of the alleged crime, the defendant, and the judge. This story reminds us of some basic truths about being faithful witnesses.

Paul’s accusers were serious.

They brought in an attorney, a professional orator named Tertullus, to prosecute him.

Flattery is practically dripping from Tertullus’s lips as he attempts to make a favorable first impression on the judge. Tertullus expresses gratitude for the “great peace” brought about by Felix, but the fact was, Felix’s reign had been marked by constant unrest and fights between imperial forces and the oppressed Jews and Samaritans. Nevertheless, because peace was a major Roman value, the skilled attorney commends Felix for bringing it.

Tertullus strikes this topic of peace again as he brings up the first of four charges against Paul.

  1. accuses Paul of being a pest. He calls him a pestilent fellow, a public nuisance, a “plague” (v. 5). His point is that Paul “infects” people (cf. 17:6–7).
  2. contends that Paul is a political agitator. That is, he stirs up riots. There was a grain of truth to this statement. Paul’s ministry often resulted in riots, although that wasn’t Paul’s intent. In actuality, the enemies of the gospel instigated the riots (see 13:50; 14:2, 5, 19; 16:22; 17:5, 13; 19:23–29, 37–40).
  3. calls Paul the leader of a sectarian movement. This is the only place where the term “Nazarenes” is used to describe Christians (Marshall, Acts of the Apostles, 375). It’s possible that Jewish Christians were given this nickname—especially since the word contained a condescending implication (ibid.), as illustrated by Nathaniel’s question regarding Jesus: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).
  4. makes a specific charge: Paul was disruptive in the temple (v. 6). This charge of profaning the temple, however, was false. Tertullus also claims that Paul’s attempt to desecrate the temple was frustrated by the Jews. In a sentence, then, Tertullus charges, “Paul disturbs the peace as a seditious member of a dangerous sect” (Bock, Acts, 691).

Tertullus basically compliments Felix, with false credit for establishing peace in the region, then accuses Paul, with step by step, false testimony, as a disruption to the peace that Felix needs credit for to keep his position.

Those who oppose Christ will go to great lengths to oppose the kingdom. They will use skill, political maneuvering, and lies. Such opposition shouldn’t surprise us. We should be prepared spiritually for such attacks (cf. Eph 6:1–10).

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.
(true)

6 “And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. [We wanted to judge him according to our own Law.
(false- there was no desecration, just a false assumption that he had brought a greek into the temple, which they never proved)

7 “But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands,
(false – Lysias saved Paul from their violence)

8 ordering his accusers to come before you. (this belongs with the previous verse) By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him.”

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

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,

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

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.

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

(where is the proof to support these accusations, they do not have any which is why all they continue to do is verbally accuse me)

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;

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.

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

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

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 —

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

where  (who) did the first accusation against Paul come from ?

Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.

27 ¶ When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,

28 crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”

29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

30 Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.

Jews from Asia, (he specifies the source of the accusation), accused me falsely (since they never showed any proof for bringing a greek into the temple),

strangely, are not here today to support the very accusations they started, that caused all this

He is not saying they followed him to Jerusalem (they were likely there for Pentecost celebration just has we read that he was trying to return for in time

Acts 20:16

(if not for their false accusation, we would not be talking right now)

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

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.’”

a commotion that the commander, Lysias witnessed (that even the sanhedrin could not agree upon in unity)

22 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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

There is no record of Felix ever becoming saved

(Records indicate he was summoned to Rome in the next year or so but no conversion)

When Felix sent Paul away , he chose not to choose

That was a choice in itself

John 3:16-19

16 ¶ “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

choosing to “ not choose” is a choice

(One cannot create a neutral gray area of “I will decide which side I am on later”

 

He that does not gather with me scatters

Matt. 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Luke 11:23 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

(context is after casting out a demon, accused of doing so by the power of beezelbub, responds with a common sense point about kingdoms standing or falling based upon their unity. gathering or scattering comment is in the context of kingdom conflict with Satans kingdom.

in verse 26, we read that Felix was trembling, listening to Paul present the gospel.

What part of the gospel would make someone tremble ?

If Paul had presented the gospel as it is common presented now (“say this prayer with me”) I would think Felix would have jumped right in.

Felix puts off his decision, he procrastinates.

Why ?

seems like Paul explained the cost of following christ as well as the “getting saved” part

 

About dave cadieux

Browse Archived Articles by dave cadieux

Related

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.