22 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 guard but 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.
Living God’s Word: Governor Felix was “quite familiar” with Christianity—its history and teachings. Knowing about something, however, is not the same as embracing it. It is possible to know what the Bible teaches and yet never do what it commands. It is possible to know about Christ without ever committing oneself to him. How sad to be so close to the truth yet never let it transform your heart and life. Be careful about complacency and laziness in your spiritual journey. You are responsible for every bit of revelation God gives. Luke had earlier recorded the sobering warning of Jesus: “Much is required from those to whom much is given” (Luke 12:48 nlt).
Words to Live By: Although Felix listens as Paul proclaims God’s Word, Felix is most interested in a bribe. So he ignores Paul’s message and leaves him in custody. God’s Law can hurt our pride; we would rather avoid hearing about our sins and eternal judgment. Though God’s Law and judgment are sharp, His Gospel grants full release. Rather than eternal death, Jesus grants us the riches of eternal life.
Prayer: We praise You, O God, for giving us many opportunities to listen to Your Word and for giving us fullness of life in Christ. Thank You for making us spiritually rich in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.