Every false cause can find men of sharp wits to plead it. The truest Christian life is no fence against the hatred of the rejectors of Christ (John 15:18), but if God’s servants can speak with the language of a clear conscience, they need have no fear. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them.”
1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
Acts 24 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Acts 24:1-9 – J. Vernon McGee
Acts 24:10-16 – J. Vernon McGee
Acts 24:17-23 – J. Vernon McGee
Acts 24:24-27 – J. Vernon McGee
Acts 24:1-16 – Truth against Slander
Paul was always on the lookout for the one ray of light in murky skies. He found a reason for counting himself happy in this dark hour, Acts 24:10. He held himself with great dignity. He remembered that he was always God’s ambassador, representing the court of heaven amid the perverse courts of human government. As for the charge of sedition, he challenged his adversaries to prove it. He pointed out that as the nation was already divided into Pharisees and Sadducees, they could hardly find fault with him for belonging to a third sect—that of the Nazarenes. After the way which they called heresy, Acts 24:14, he worshipped God, but he had never stirred up strife in temple or synagogue. He protested that it had been the aim of his life to keep a conscience void of offense toward God and man.
In Acts 23:1 he had made a similar statement. Well would it be for us if only we would devote a few minutes at the close of each day to discover whether our conscience accused us of failure in heart, thought, or behavior. The Holy Spirit pleads in the court of conscience. We would be kept from many a fall, if we would be more careful to watch against the little rifts. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Acts 24:14—After the Way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my Fathers.
For want of a better term by which to set forth Christianity—whether by friend or foe is immaterial—the new principle which it represented was called the Way.
Saul “desired… letters to Damascus… that if he found any of this way,… he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2). At Ephesus some were “hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude” (Acts 19:9). “The same time there arose no small stir about that way” (Acts 19:23). “Felix… having more perfect knowledge of that way” (Acts 24:22). “I persecuted this way unto the death” (Acts 22:4).
It is a beautiful and significant phrase. Christ is Himself the Way. He has opened the way to God. Through the heavens He passed in his ascension, leaving behind Him at every step a way by which we may travel till every one of us appears in Zion before God. In Christ we have found the way to the Father, and have learnt a rule of life. The word Methodist is closely akin to this. The followers of Wesley have been obeying on a new method which their illustrious founder opened.
“Men of the Way”; such is the designation by which Christians should be known. They are pilgrims and strangers, wayfarers, having no abiding city, but always passing on. We may say of them as the psalmist did of the pilgrim hosts that went up yearly to worship at the feast, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them” (Psalm 84:5). And is not this the Way that Isaiah spoke of when he said, “An highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8-10)? —Our Daily Homily
Acts 24:17-27 – A Trembling but Venal Judge
The case had broken down. Paul’s statement of faith and the absence of confirmatory evidence directly contradicted the only charge against him. Felix dared not hand over Paul as guilty, and he was equally unwilling to offend the high priest’s party; so he postponed his decision. In the meantime Paul’s custody was not to be severe. His friends might freely see him, and the long hours were doubtless lightened by visits from Luke and Aristarchus, Philip the evangelist, and other members of the local Christian community.
At first the governor was prepossessed in Paul’s favor. He had some intimate knowledge concerning the tenets of the early Church, Acts 24:22. He had studied it as an intellectual system, and was interested to have opportunity for conversation with its foremost exponent. But his illicit union with Drusilla, whose husband was living, and his hope to receive a bribe from Paul’s friends, made him obtuse and dead to the claims of Christ. Paul, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to any thought of himself or of his dependence on the governor’s whim, and used his one opportunity in seeking the salvation of this weak and sordid soul. It was in vain. Felix was anchored to a mudbank and would not avail himself of the rising tides of life about him. —Through the Bible Day by Day