Understanding Acts | Defense | Acts 24.22-27 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | May 16, 2023

“Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.”23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guardbut to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. 24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. 27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.” Acts 24.22-27

Paul was is in prison. It’s more like a house arrest in Caesarea at Herod’s Palace. He was there under the orders of Felix the Governor of that region for the Roman army and for Caesar. Paul remained in captivity but his level of influence as well as his audience was growing. He was no longer defending himself to just the Jews in Jerusalem, or a few Roman centurions, now Paul was at the Governor level, moving further up the ladder of leadership and influence.

This is how the Lord works. If we who are entrusted with little, and show an ability to bear fruit and communicate his grace, are entrusted with more. Jesus says this in Luke 16.10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Jesus mentioned this in terms of those who are honest and dishonest but I believe it applies to those who are fruitful and faithful.

Paul was both fruitful and faithful. He was able and willing to communicate the gospel of grace clearly to those God put before him. And in doing so, his gifts and graces allowed him to speak to more people with greater influence. Paul was working his way up the ladder of faithful influence as an evangelist. His goal was not self importance or notoriety, God just took him there. He was God’s person to evangelize the Gentiles and especially those living within the early Roman Empire. His conversation with Felix is one example of Paul’s growing influence and fruitfulness.

Now not all of us will be Paul. Not all of us can write like him, speak like him, communicate like him. Not all of us can write over half of the New Testament and be a spokesperson for the ancient Church. However, we have been given different gifts and different abilities. Some of us impact only a handful of people who then impact hundreds. Even by building up only a few in the faith, our influence of faithfulness might have an impact in the Kingdom. Think about who encouraged Billy Graham, Beth Moore, John Wesley or Mary the Mother of Jesus. Like these leaders and at every turn, Paul was ready to give a defense for the gospel. He did not hesitate in communicating the love of God with those around him, be they Jew or Gentile.

Who has God put before you this day? Who is God asking you to encourage, to love, and to share the Gospel of Christ? Perhaps your service will be done with words or deeds. Maybe it’s a coworker who needs to be reminded of the love of Christ or a homeless person seeking a friend or food. Wherever you go this day, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Be the hands and feet of Christ, giving a defense for the hope within you and serving others with the love and grace of the Gospel of Jesus.

“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for allowing me to walk in newness of life. I praise you Lord for this day and for your faithfulness. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and might. Guide me, lead me, direct me and protect me from the enemy. Help me be your servant in a world in need of grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen