Friday, October 13, 2006

Acts 24:24-25:12

In this passage Paul is in prison. He is kept in prison for political reasons, to please the Jews, though he had done nothing wrong. It would seem that the church needed him to be free to minister during this time, but Paul still found ways to tell others about Jesus. For two years, while imprisoned, he spoke to Felix, who grew uncomfortable when taught by Paul about righteousness and judgment. Paul was detained in prison for two years, though innocent. Then, Festus became governor.

Paul then presented his case to Festus. The Jewish leaders wanted this to take place in Jerusalem, as they were planning to ambush Paul while enroute and kill him. They were threatened so much by Paul’s message of Christ that they wanted to kill Paul, but God protected Paul and allowed Paul to keep speaking about Christ.

I am struck by Paul’s faithfulness to Christ. He never wavered during his time in prison. It could not have been easy and it was probably scary at times. When he spoke repeatedly to Felix, Felix kept hoping to be bribed for Paul’s release. So, Felix listened to Paul with mixed motive and after two years, didn’t release him. And, God was faithful to Paul, to protect him during this time.

Paul reflects on his many sufferings in II Cor. 11:22ff and what he summarizes with is this, my weaknesses mean that God’s power rests in me, so I am glad for my weaknesses, for with God’s power, I am strong. Today as we work for Christ we will have inner and outer struggles. I am thinking I want to, with God’s power, step back and let God’s strength take over for my weakness, in those times when I want to act as Christ would but lack the power to.

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