Felix was the Roman governor of Judea from A.D. 52-58. This was the same position held by Pontius Pilate from A.D. 26-36. Pilate presided over the trial of Jesus. Felix was married to the sister of the Jewish Herod Agrippa II (25:13-26:32), Drusilla. He was a former slave who had won his freedom and gained favor with the imperial court. As the governor, he was to run the army, keep the peace, and collect taxes. He often used force with violence and was given to corruption. The Roman historian, Tacitus, said, "He exercised royal power with the mind of a slave."
Tertullus was a hired attorney ("orator") by the Jewish leaders for the accusation of Paul to Felix. He made three accusations. Paul was a:
- Pest and troublemaker who stirred up riots throughout the world
- Ringleader of the Nazarene sect (Jesus was from Nazareth)
None of these accusations were true, and Paul refuted them one by one and even shared the gospel and "righteousness, self-control, and the judgement to come" with Felix. This convicted Felix since he had to break up another marriage in order to marry his third wife, Drusilla. He was a man who lacked all these qualities and really needed Jesus!
- Desecrator of the temple
How do you bear up under false accusations?
Memorize Acts 24:16. If we do our best to maintain a blameless conscience before God and men, we will have nothing to worry about when we are falsely accused.
Lord, may we conduct ourselves in a way that we always have a blameless conscience both before You and before men. In Jesus' name, Amen.