8 July Acts 24:1-26

8 July. Paul is accused of desecrating the Jewish Temple

"Five days later Ananias, the high priest, went to the city of Caesarea with some of the Jewish elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They had come to make charges against Paul before the [Roman] governor."

"Paul was called into the meeting and Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, 'Most Excellent Felix! Our people enjoy much peace because of you [Romans], and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. We accept these things always and in every place, and we are thankful for them.'..."

"We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up the Jews everywhere in the world. He is a leader of the Nazarene group. Also he was trying to make the [Jewish] Temple [ritually] unclean, but we stopped him. By asking him questions yourself, you can decide if all these things are true.' The other Jews agreed and said that all of this was true."

"When the governor made a sign for Paul to speak, Paul said, 'Governor Felix, I know you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I am happy to defend myself before you.'..."

"Those who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple or stirring up the people in the synagogues or in the city. They cannot prove the things they are saying against me now. But I will tell you this: I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way of Jesus... I have the same hope in God that they have - the hope that all people, good and bad, will surely be raised from the dead.'..."

"'After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I went back to bring money to my people and to offer sacrifices. I was doing this when they found me in the Temple. I had finished the [ritual] cleansing ceremony and had not made any trouble... But I did shout one thing when I stood before them: "You are judging me today because I believe that people will rise from the dead!"'"

"Felix already understood much about the Way of Jesus. He stopped the trial and said, 'When commander Lysias comes here, I will decide your case.' Felix told the officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring what he needed."

"After some days, Felix came with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, and asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about believing in Christ Jesus. But Felix became afraid when Paul spoke about living right, self-control and the time when God will judge the world. He said, 'Go away now. When I have more time, I will call for you.' At the same time Felix hoped that Paul would give him some money [as a bribe to free him], so he often sent for Paul and talked with him."

          (Acts 24:1-26)

 

 

On arrival at Caesarea in the autumn of 57AD, Paul appeared before the Roman governor. He was kept under armed guard for five days in the governor’s residence at Herod’s Palace until Ananias (the High Priest) and Tertullus (a Jewish lawyer) arrived from Jerusalem for Paul’s trial.

Paul – charged with a public disorder offence in Jerusalem – was accused by the Jews before the Roman governor, Marcus Antonius Felix. Paul was described as “a leader of the Nazarene group” (Acts 24:5) who had tried to desecrate the Temple by bringing Gentiles into the inner courts.

Paul defended himself, admitting he was a “follower of the Way of Jesus” (Acts 24:14). He asked why his accusers from Ephesus weren’t present in the court, and claimed he was on trial for believing in the resurrection of the dead.

Governor Felix, appointed by the emperor Claudius five years earlier in 52AD, was well acquainted with ‘the Way of Jesus' as his wife, Drusilla, was the daughter of King Herod Agrippa I who had beheaded the apostle James and had arrested Peter (see Acts 12:1-4).

Felix realised that Paul was probably being accused unjustly, and adjourned the proceedings on the grounds that he needed further evidence from Claudius Lysias – the commander of the Antonia Fortress in Jerusalem.

Following this, Paul was kept under prolonged house arrest in Caesarea. On several occasions, Governor Felix and his Jewish wife Drusilla sent for Paul and listened to him speaking about having faith in Jesus Christ.

The photo shows the Roman theatre in Caesarea.

You can read more about Caesarea @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/12-paul…/paul-in-caesarea/


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