Daily Devotional: Thursday 18th June

by William Moody

Acts 24:1–18

Paul Before Felix at Caesarea

24:1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul. 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. But, to detain1 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 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.2 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”

The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.

10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied:

“Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia—

Footnotes

[1] 24:4 Or weary
[2] 24:6 Some manuscripts add and we would have judged him according to our law. 7But the chief captain Lysias came and with great violence took him out of our hands, 8commanding his accusers to come before you.

(ESV)

Paul was arrested in Jerusalem after his preaching caused a riot. He has been sent to the governor Felix at Caesarea for his safety from a plot to kill him and for a trial. The tactics of the high priest before Felix begins first with flattery (v2-4). There is a falseness about this man who should stand for the truth.

The tactic next was to falsely brand Paul as a troublemaker and creator of riots. This would be particularly troubling for a governor wishing to keep control (v5-9).

In this world believers should not be surprised when false accusations are made about us or other believers. We always need to entrust ourselves to the One who knows the truth.

Paul defends himself (v10-13) and insists that what he believes is not some new idea but what is in agreement with the Old Testament scriptures (v14-16). He then speaks about the motives of his visit to help those in need and to worship at the temple (v17-18).

The testimony of the Bible and a life lived faithfully are a powerful combination. Are these two things in your witness for Christ?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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