Paul Before Felix at Caesarea 24 1 And s after five days the high priest t Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before u the governor their case against Paul. 2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, v most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain 1 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, w one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of x the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 y He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 1 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.” 9 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 z it is not more than twelve days since I a went up b to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and c 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 d Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to e the Way, which they call f a sect, g I worship h the God of our fathers, believing everything i laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 j having k a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be l a resurrection m of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always n take pains to have a o clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now p after several years q I came to bring alms to r my nation and to present s offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me t purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But u some Jews from Asia— 19 v they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing w that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’” Paul Kept in Custody 22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of x the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he y should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that z none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs. 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about a faith b in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned c about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. d When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” 26 At the same time he hoped e that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius f Festus. And g desiring to do the Jews a favor, h Felix left Paul in prison. Paul Appeals to Caesar 25 1 Now three days after Festus had arrived in i the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews j laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3 asking as a favor against Paul 1 that he summon him to Jerusalem—because k they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.” 6 After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on l the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him m that they could not prove. 8 Paul argued in his defense, “Neither n against o the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor p against Caesar have I committed any offense.” 9 But Festus, q wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s r tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. s I appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”
24 1 Μετὰ δὲ πέντε ἡμέρας κατέβη ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς Ἁνανίας μετὰ πρεσβυτέρων τινῶν καὶ ῥήτορος Τερτύλλου τινός, οἵτινες ἐνεφάνισαν τῷ ἡγεμόνι κατὰ τοῦ Παύλου. 2 κληθέντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἤρξατο κατηγορεῖν ὁ Τέρτυλλος λέγων• πολλῆς εἰρήνης τυγχάνοντες διὰ σοῦ καὶ διορθωμάτων γινομένων τῷ ἔθνει τούτῳ διὰ τῆς σῆς προνοίας, 3 πάντῃ τε καὶ πανταχοῦ ἀποδεχόμεθα, κράτιστε Φῆλιξ, μετὰ πάσης εὐχαριστίας. 4 ἵνα δὲ μὴ ἐπὶ πλεῖόν σε ἐγκόπτω, παρακαλῶ ἀκοῦσαί σε ἡμῶν συντόμως τῇ σῇ ἐπιεικείᾳ. 5 εὑρόντες γὰρ τὸν ἄνδρα τοῦτον λοιμὸν καὶ κινοῦντα στάσεις πᾶσιν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τοῖς κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην πρωτοστάτην τε τῆς τῶν Ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως, 6 ὃς καὶ τὸ ἱερὸν ἐπείρασεν βεβηλῶσαι ὃν καὶ ἐκρατήσαμεν, 8 παρʼ οὗ δυνήσῃ αὐτὸς ἀνακρίνας περὶ πάντων τούτων ἐπιγνῶναι ὧν ἡμεῖς κατηγοροῦμεν αὐτοῦ. 9 συνεπέθεντο δὲ καὶ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι φάσκοντες ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχειν. 10 Ἀπεκρίθη τε ὁ Παῦλος νεύσαντος αὐτῷ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος λέγειν• ἐκ πολλῶν ἐτῶν ὄντα σε κριτὴν τῷ ἔθνει τούτῳ ἐπιστάμενος εὐθύμως τὰ περὶ ἐμαυτοῦ ἀπολογοῦμαι, 11 δυναμένου σου ἐπιγνῶναι ὅτι οὐ πλείους εἰσίν μοι ἡμέραι δώδεκα ἀφʼ ἧς ἀνέβην προσκυνήσων εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ. 12 καὶ οὔτε ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ εὗρόν με πρός τινα διαλεγόμενον ἢ ἐπίστασιν ποιοῦντα ὄχλου οὔτε ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς οὔτε κατὰ τὴν πόλιν, 13 οὐδὲ παραστῆσαι δύνανταί σοι περὶ ὧν νυνὶ κατηγοροῦσίν μου. 14 ὁμολογῶ δὲ τοῦτό σοι ὅτι κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἣν λέγουσιν αἵρεσιν, οὕτως λατρεύω τῷ πατρῴῳ θεῷ πιστεύων πᾶσιν τοῖς κατὰ τὸν νόμον καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς προφήταις γεγραμμένοις, 15 ἐλπίδα ἔχων εἰς τὸν θεὸν ἣν καὶ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι προσδέχονται, ἀνάστασιν μέλλειν ἔσεσθαι δικαίων τε καὶ ἀδίκων. 16 ἐν τούτῳ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀσκῶ ἀπρόσκοπον συνείδησιν ἔχειν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους διὰ παντός. 17 διʼ ἐτῶν δὲ πλειόνων ἐλεημοσύνας ποιήσων εἰς τὸ ἔθνος μου παρεγενόμην καὶ προσφοράς, 18 ἐν αἷς εὗρόν με ἡγνισμένον ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ οὐ μετὰ ὄχλου οὐδὲ μετὰ θορύβου, 19 τινὲς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀσίας Ἰουδαῖοι, οὓς ἔδει ἐπὶ σοῦ παρεῖναι καὶ κατηγορεῖν εἴ τι ἔχοιεν πρὸς ἐμέ. 20 ἢ αὐτοὶ οὗτοι εἰπάτωσαν τί εὗρον ἀδίκημα στάντος μου ἐπὶ τοῦ συνεδρίου, 21 ἢ περὶ μιᾶς ταύτης φωνῆς ἧς ἐκέκραξα ἐν αὐτοῖς ἑστὼς ὅτι περὶ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν ἐγὼ κρίνομαι σήμερον ἐφʼ ὑμῶν. 22 Ἀνεβάλετο δὲ αὐτοὺς ὁ Φῆλιξ, ἀκριβέστερον εἰδὼς τὰ περὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ εἴπας• ὅταν Λυσίας ὁ χιλίαρχος καταβῇ, διαγνώσομαι τὰ καθʼ ὑμᾶς• 23 διαταξάμενος τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ τηρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἔχειν τε ἄνεσιν καὶ μηδένα κωλύειν τῶν ἰδίων αὐτοῦ ὑπηρετεῖν αὐτῷ. 24 Μετὰ δὲ ἡμέρας τινὰς παραγενόμενος ὁ Φῆλιξ σὺν Δρουσίλλῃ τῇ ἰδίᾳ γυναικὶ οὔσῃ Ἰουδαίᾳ μετεπέμψατο τὸν Παῦλον καὶ ἤκουσεν αὐτοῦ περὶ τῆς εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν πίστεως. 25 διαλεγομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἐγκρατείας καὶ τοῦ κρίματος τοῦ μέλλοντος, ἔμφοβος γενόμενος ὁ Φῆλιξ ἀπεκρίθη• τὸ νῦν ἔχον πορεύου, καιρὸν δὲ μεταλαβὼν μετακαλέσομαί σε, 26 ἅμα καὶ ἐλπίζων ὅτι χρήματα δοθήσεται αὐτῷ ὑπὸ τοῦ Παύλου• διὸ καὶ πυκνότερον αὐτὸν μεταπεμπόμενος ὡμίλει αὐτῷ. 27 Διετίας δὲ πληρωθείσης ἔλαβεν διάδοχον ὁ Φῆλιξ Πόρκιον Φῆστον, θέλων τε χάριτα καταθέσθαι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὁ Φῆλιξ κατέλιπεν τὸν Παῦλον δεδεμένον. 25 1 Φῆστος οὖν ἐπιβὰς τῇ ἐπαρχείᾳ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀνέβη εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀπὸ Καισαρείας, 2 ἐνεφάνισάν τε αὐτῷ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τῶν Ἰουδαίων κατὰ τοῦ Παύλου καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν 3 αἰτούμενοι χάριν κατʼ αὐτοῦ ὅπως μεταπέμψηται αὐτὸν εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἐνέδραν ποιοῦντες ἀνελεῖν αὐτὸν κατὰ τὴν ὁδόν. 4 ὁ μὲν οὖν Φῆστος ἀπεκρίθη τηρεῖσθαι τὸν Παῦλον εἰς Καισάρειαν, ἑαυτὸν δὲ μέλλειν ἐν τάχει ἐκπορεύεσθαι• 5 οἱ οὖν ἐν ὑμῖν, φησίν, δυνατοὶ συγκαταβάντες εἴ τί ἐστιν ἐν τῷ ἀνδρὶ ἄτοπον κατηγορείτωσαν αὐτοῦ. 6 Διατρίψας δὲ ἐν αὐτοῖς ἡμέρας οὐ πλείους ὀκτὼ ἢ δέκα, καταβὰς εἰς Καισάρειαν, τῇ ἐπαύριον καθίσας ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἐκέλευσεν τὸν Παῦλον ἀχθῆναι. 7 παραγενομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ περιέστησαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβεβηκότες Ἰουδαῖοι πολλὰ καὶ βαρέα αἰτιώματα καταφέροντες ἃ οὐκ ἴσχυον ἀποδεῖξαι, 8 τοῦ Παύλου ἀπολογουμένου ὅτι οὔτε εἰς τὸν νόμον τῶν Ἰουδαίων οὔτε εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν οὔτε εἰς Καίσαρά τι ἥμαρτον. 9 Ὁ Φῆστος δὲ θέλων τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις χάριν καταθέσθαι ἀποκριθεὶς τῷ Παύλῳ εἶπεν• θέλεις εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀναβὰς ἐκεῖ περὶ τούτων κριθῆναι ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ; 10 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Παῦλος• ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος Καίσαρος ἑστώς εἰμι, οὗ με δεῖ κρίνεσθαι. Ἰουδαίους οὐδὲν ἠδίκησα ὡς καὶ σὺ κάλλιον ἐπιγινώσκεις. 11 εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀδικῶ καὶ ἄξιον θανάτου πέπραχά τι, οὐ παραιτοῦμαι τὸ ἀποθανεῖν• εἰ δὲ οὐδέν ἐστιν ὧν οὗτοι κατηγοροῦσίν μου, οὐδείς με δύναται αὐτοῖς χαρίσασθαι• Καίσαρα ἐπικαλοῦμαι. 12 τότε ὁ Φῆστος συλλαλήσας μετὰ τοῦ συμβουλίου ἀπεκρίθη• Καίσαρα ἐπικέκλησαι, ἐπὶ Καίσαρα πορεύσῃ.
Paul keeps testifying Introduction Stott's image of butterfly vs steamroller. Paul vs Roman empire plus Jerusalem. Yet his confidence never in doubt. 'All authority has been given to me'. The state exists by Jesus' permission. We've already had two defences - before the crowd and the sanhedrin. Today, two more before Felix and his successor Festus. And one more to come before Agrippa. We hate injustice; but here is effective triple jeopardy - being tried three times for the same crime. And innocent! Paul doesn't seem worn down by it. Instead, he keeps persevering in testifying to the resurrection. How would you respond to this kind of treatment? on the one hand, the bolshy Christian who disregards civic authority, finding a way to dismiss its legitimacy. on the other hand, the cynic Christian who becomes embittered by appalling injustice. Purpose of recording the three trials: 1. To vindicate God's word (cf Acts 23.11) 2. To show Paul giving solemn witness. In total, through the 5 trials, his main agenda seems to persuade his audiences of the truth of his experience and to believe the resurrection themselves. 3. To show the resurrection empowers perseverance in testimony. Paul knows his labours in the Lord are not in vain. 4. To explain the content of the charges against Paul. Trouble maker, Nazerene (not a legally recognised sect, ie considered dissident) 5. To show we've been here before. cf Luke 23, Pilate finds no basis for a charge Luke 23.4, and then again neither he nor Herod Luke 23.14-15; so, three declarations of innocence in total. 1-23 Paul testifies before Felix Nauseating flattery. Felix actually known to be brutal and immoral. v6 we seized him - ie we tried to kill him. cf Paul's opener in v10; polite in light of the office of civic government; God's institution. 'the Way' flows directly from the OT; we're the faithful successors! Ringleader of the sect of the Nazarene? I.e., misunderstood because he had taken that vow? His defence shows him to be a 'loyal citizen of Rome and a loyal son of Israel'. 24-27 Paul left in prison Presumably during these 2 years of custody in Caesarea he was visited by Luke, and Philip, and his daughters. v27 in those days/months of sitting in prison with a really unclear future; not so much persecuted now as simply sidelined, how must Paul have felt? At least when we are vigorously persecuted we have a sense of the real conflict the gospel brings. But ignored obscurity is a different challenge to despondency and discouragement. Here is a reminder that Paul had plenty of stretches of being seemingly 'out of the game.' Felix had persuaded Drusilla to divorce her husband. She was Felix's third wife. So Paul's address to them is making the gospel call particular and contextualised - i.e. calling for repentance in specifics! Righteousness/justice - cf his brutal injustices. Self-control cf his immorality. Judgement to come, cf the resurrection. Felix had an accurate knowledge; did he squirm and just want to delay the decision like a politician? According to Josephus, the reason why Felix has to leave is that he is summoned to Rome to explain his outrageously brutal dealing with a dispute between Jews and Syrians in Caesarea. He would have been severely punished if his brother hadn't intervened. 1-12 Paul testifies before Festus V1-3 another plot. Another example of the cloak and dagger nature of sin by religious people and institutions; it always has to be dressed up as something else; it can't be blatant. v4-12 Paul pushes to expose the injustice of what is going on; what's the actual charge here? And if you won't tell me, then I appeal to the higher court. The Roman citizen's ancient right of 'provocatio', which protected him from 'summary punishment, execution or torture without trial, from private or public arrest, and from actual trial by magistrates outside Italy.' This testimony, and its testifiers, cannot expect an easy life; John 15.20 no servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. But we are not alone; John 15.26-27. Opposition will be persistent, and must be met by persistent faithfulness empowered by the Spirit. We must not be embittered by injustice, but call it out and live meekly - Psalm 37. Calvin quotations: 'The more brightly the light of doctrine shines, so as to press more closely on wicked men, they are driven to a near pitch of madness.' 'No man is fit to preach the gospel, seeing the whole world is set against it, save only he which is armed to suffer.' Heart issues: on the one hand, the bolshy Christian who disregards civic authority, finding a way to dismiss its legitimacy. on the other hand, the cynic Christian who becomes embittered by appalling injustice. Jesus has gone before us; suffering unjustly yet righteously. He gives us power to testify and bear up in the midst. We are not alone! He sends us out with his supreme authority to act for justice [we must work to get back to high watermarks eg Massachusetts; but even they are imperfect and can't give justice in the full and final extent]. He promises to end all and for ultimate justice to be done. 1 Peter 2 a key cross-ref