Day 143: Paul’s Defense

Acts 24:17-23 :

Now after some years, I came to bring gifts for the needy to my nation, and offerings; amid which certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, not with a mob, nor with turmoil. They ought to have been here before you, and to make accusation, if they had anything against me. Or else let these men themselves say what injustice they found in me when I stood before the council, unless it is for this one thing that I cried standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged before you today!’”

But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, “When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case.” He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends to serve him or to visit him.

We find out here that Paul was bringing gifts for the needy in Jerusalem. These gifts probably came from the Gentile Christians! A significant injustice was taking place and it may have been so large that it was shocking to the governor.

Christians are being persecuted in shocking ways to this day. It is so very important for a good governments to hear the case of these Christians so that they have some protection against those who abuse them. Christians want to give and help those in need. They are not the ones who want to stir up trouble.

In this case, Paul, although he was kept under custody, was given the freedom to have visitors come and provide things that he needed. Evidently, Governor Felix was aware of Christianity enough to understand that Paul wasn’t a dangerous person, but Felix wanted to talk to Lysias more about the case before he made a decision.