top of page

Pray -

Read Acts 24:1 -9

Five days later Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus, to present their case against Paul to the governor.

When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented the charges against Paul in the following address to the governor:“You have provided a long period of peace for us Jews and with foresight have enacted reforms for us. 3For all of this, Your Excellency, we are very grateful to you. 4But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment. 5We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes. 6Furthermore, he was trying to desecrate the Temple when we arrested him. 8You can find out the truth of our accusations by examining him yourself.” Then the other Jews chimed in, declaring that everything Tertullus said was true.

  • What is happening five days prior to this passage?

  • How far have these people traveled to present their case against Paul to the Governor?

  • What was Ananias the high Priest known for and how was he viewed by Jewish nationalists?

  • The high council has hired this lawyer to make their case against Paul, who is representing Paul?

  • What does he mean about always living before God with a clear conscience?

  • How do you handle a situation when you feel like the odds are stacked unfairly against you?

  • How are these accusations against Paul similar to accusations made against Jesus?

  • What does Tertullus call Jesus followers and how could this have possibly been seen as an insult?

  • For reference you can go back and review the actual event from Acts 21:26b-36 that shows why Paul is being accused. How does Tertullus’ account match with the account from Acts 21?

  • What do you think Paul is thinking during this opening argument?

  • How do you think it felt to hear his name being drug through the mud?

  • Have you ever had someone say things about you that were not true?

Read Acts 24:10-23

The governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said,

“I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. 11You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. 12My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. 13These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing. 14“But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people. 17“After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God. 18My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ceremony. There was no crowd around me and no rioting. 19But some Jews from the province of Asia were there—and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me! 20Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high council found me guilty of, 21except for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’ ” At that point Felix, who was quite familiar with the Way, adjourned the hearing and said, “Wait until Lysias, the garrison commander, arrives. Then I will decide the case.” 23He ordered an officer to keep Paul in custody but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to visit him and take care of his needs.

  • What is Paul’s first defense?

  • What is the crux of the problem that Paul is getting to in verse 14?

  • Is this a political, personality or religious issue?

  • The Roman historian Tacitus summed up Felix's leadership by saying, "he exercised royal power with the mind of a slave” so what do we know about Felix from this historical quote?

  • What does Felix say about Paul?

  • Why doesn’t he set Paul free?

  • What decisions have you made in fear and what has been the result?

Read Acts 24:24 - 26

A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. 25As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” 26He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.

  • What could have been Felix’s driving factor for ever wanting to help Paul?

  • historical quote?

  • What does Felix say about Paul?

  • Why doesn’t he set Paul free?

  • What decisions have you made in fear and what has been the result?

  • Compare and contrast Felix with Pilate. What was the commonalty between these men?

  • You have heard the arguments now from both sides. What is your judgment?

  • Is Paul guilty? Would you have set him free?

Think on This…

Paul’s life is summed up with the idea that he followed Christ. Who are you following? In what areas in your life are you allowing fear to control you?


bottom of page