Acts Chapter Twenty-Four (NIV)
Acts Chapter Twenty-Four (NASB)
Verses 1-21: Paul's gives his defense before Felix.
Verses 22-27: Felix leaves Paul in prison.
II. KEY PASSAGES
(A) Acts 24:2-3--"And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: 'Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.'" Tertullus begins with absurd flattery. Felix was a horrible administrator, was known for taking bribes, and was later removed from office by the Romans. Compare the flattery of Tertullus with the honest introduction by Paul in v. 10: "Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense."
(B) Acts 24:5-6--"For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him." These are the charges against Paul. Paul responds by admitting that he is a leader among Christians, but that he was not inciting a riot and did not profane the temple. Since accusers had to be present in order to testify against a Roman citizen, Paul points out that the people who had supposedly witnessed him starting a riot were not present.
(C) Acts 24:27--"When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison." Felix, as well as other Roman leaders, tried to balance (1) not abusing Paul, since he was a Roman citizen, with (2) not upsetting the Jews by allowing Paul unrestricted freedom. Though Felix knew that Paul was innocent, he left him in prison in order to satisfy Paul's enemies.