24 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before 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, 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 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 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 it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and 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 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia— 19 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 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.’”
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v1. The Jewish leaders travelled 60 miles and employed a lawyer, so as to perpetuate their false accusations against Paul. Their murder plot (Acts 23) had failed but they continued on their premeditated and determined attempt to seek Paul’s death.
- v2-8. Luke in his recording of Tertullus’ speech, appears to emphasise that it is more composed of flattery and lacked substantial evidence to back up his specific accusations.
- v10-21. In contrast, Paul’s defense systematically refutes the lack of evidence point by point. Paul’s accusers were unable to present evidence to support their claims. For example, Paul was accused of starting trouble among the Jews in Asia but these individuals were not present to confirm this.
- v14. This is an example of Paul using every opportunity to witness for Christ. If we were faced with such pressure from false accusers, would we be seeking such opportunities to testify of God’s grace and love?
submitted by Ashley Liew
PRAYING IN FAITH
Ask God to help you see the opportunities to testify of His goodness in your daily lives, even if it may seem initially out of place.
For Your Five
Pray that the Holy Spirit will challenge you to understand systematically the basis of your faith in Jesus.
For Our Church
Pray that God will give our church courage and boldness to act as a beacon of His truth and love in the midst of a world that is in rebellion against Him.