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24:1-28:31 PAUL FAREWELLS THE EAST; GOES TO ROME
Imprisoned in Caesarea two years (24:1-27)
In the trial before Felix, the Jews used a professional lawyer to present their case (24:1-4). They made three accusations against Paul. Firstly, he created uprisings among the Jews, the suggestion being that he was stirring up rebellion against Rome. Secondly, he was a leader of the Nazarenes, a religious group that operated without government permission and therefore was probably rebellious against Rome. Thirdly, he had defiled the temple in Jerusalem (5-9).
Paul began his defence by denying that he had stirred up the people in Jerusalem. No one could prove such a claim (10-13). Secondly, he admitted that he was a follower of ‘the Way’, but this was the true continuation and completion of the ancient Israelite religion. It was not a new sect, neither was it false. Paul believed in the resurrection of the dead, as did most Jews, and he worshipped the same God as they did (14-16). Finally, he had not defiled the temple; in fact, he had carried out a ceremony of purification. In addition he had brought gifts to help his fellow Jews in their need. The Sanhedrin’s only accusation against him concerned his belief in the resurrection, and even that was supported by only one section of it (17-21).
Felix knew the Jews well and plainly saw that Paul was not guilty, but out of fear of the Jews he would not release him. So Paul spent the next two years in prison, though he was allowed to receive visits from friends (22-23; see v. 27). Felix wanted to find out more about Paul’s Christian beliefs, but he became uncomfortable when Paul spoke of the need for right behaviour and the certainty of coming judgment. Paul could have been released had he been willing to pay the bribe Felix was seeking, but he refused. Felix therefore left him in prison till the arrival of the next governor, who could handle the case as he wished (24-27).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Acts 24". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13