I have Done No Wrong

Paul has been delivered to the Roman Procurator Felix in Caesarea after a plot to kill Paul is uncovered in Jerusalem. Felix was no stranger to rebellion from the Jews and was charged with keeping peace in the region. Paul gives his defense, Acts 24:14 “I do confess this to you, that according to the Way (which they call a sect), so I worship the God of our fathers” then Paul explains the tumult in Jerusalem was about the longstanding dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees, the resurrection from the dead. Paul is held under guard to satisfy the Jews, but is free to interact for two years when a new Procurator is appointed. Festus hears the case and though he finds no wrong doing in Paul, in Acts 25:12 Festus says, “You have appealed to Caesar—to Caesar you will go!”. 

According to the Way, So I Worship

Acts 24:10–21
Paul defends himself knowing that Felix understands the customs and religion of the Jews.

Many went to Jerusalem to worship and in Acts 24:11 Paul says it was only twelve days before, of which everyone understands, seven are for purification. Yes, Paul is a follower of the way in Acts 24:14. Yes, he believes in the resurrection as many of his accusers do in Acts 24:15. And, Paul came to bring a gift to the poor in Jerusalem which could be verified if need be. Paul says, in Acts 24:18 that they found him purified in the temple courts, a place people stayed after their cleansing to avoid becoming defiled.

Then Paul turns the question back in Acts 24:21 to the dispute all of the Jews understood was longstanding between the Pharisees and Sadducees, the resurrection from the dead. 

Felix Understood the Facts

Acts 24:22–27
When Paul had been taken by the Tribune in Jerusalem, the Tribune assumed Paul was the leader of a rebellion in Acts 21:38 and “It was during Felix’s term as procurator that rebellion firmly took hold in Palestine … Josephus’ account of Felix’s suppression of Jewish rioters at Caesarea shows that he tried persuasion before force … It is against this background of severe and growing disorder that we must understand Felix’s detention of Paul Acts 24:26–27”.1

Felix had been around long enough that he understood these people. There was no new truth for Felix to find because the Tribune had sent a report to be delivered with Paul, yet Felix delays, in Acts 24:22 by saying “When Lysias the military tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” and “a brief delay was not unworthy of him as a judge. Certainly, so far as recorded, neither Lysias nor any other parties appeared again in the case. Ac 24:23, however, seems to show that at that time his prepossessions in favor of Paul were strong.2

Then in Acts 24:23 “He (Felix) ordered the centurion for him (Paul) to be guarded and (Felix also ordered that the centurion to allow Paul) to have some freedom, and in no way to prevent any of his own people (Paul’s) from serving him (Paul).” So, while Paul was under guard and not free to leave, Paul did have complete freedom to interact with people as Paul chose.

During this time in Acts 24:24-26, Felix, with his Jewish wife Drusilla, would send for Paul and listen, hoping for money, a bribe, as it was common for people to buy favor from officials.

In Acts 24:25 Paul talked “about righteousness and self control and the judgement that is to come” but this was more that Felix could tolerate so Felix Felix said “Go away for the present”.

This went on for two years until Felix was replaced by the next governor, Porcius Festus. Felix left Paul behind as a prisoner as a favor to the Jews. 

I have Done No Wrong

Acts 25:1–12
Two years later, and the Jews are still plotting to kill Paul. As Festus, the new governor makes his rounds to introduce himself, the Jews bring charges against Paul and seek to have Paul brought back to Jerusalem in Acts 25:3.

Festus was not a foolish man and was not taken in by the plot of the Jews so responds in Acts 25:4-5 “Paul was being kept at Caesarea” and “Let those among you who are prominent go down with me … and … let them bring charges against him.”

Festus brings Paul together with his accusers in Acts 25:6-7 and “he sat down on the judgment seat” which was according to the Roman right to face your accusers. “The Greek word (judgement seat) used here, bēma, indicates the place where a ruler would make civic decisions including criminal proceedings. When the ruler sat in judgment, his voice was the final authority”.3

Now, in Acts 25:9 Festus “said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to be tried before me there concerning these things?”” but Paul was not a foolish man either and new he could not commit himself to a trial before the Jews So, in Acts 25:10 Paul claims his right as a roman citizen to be tried before the judgement seat of Caesar, Paul has a right to this trial and in Acts 25:12 Festus says, “You have appealed to Caesar—to Caesar you will go!”.

Asking for a Sentence of Condemnation

Acts 25:13–22
King Agrippa visits the new Governor Festus and Festus explains the dilemma left behind by Felix. In Acts 24:16 Festus explains the roman custom that you have the right to meet your accusers face to face. Also, there were no evil deeds done by Paul, just questions relating to the Jewish religion. Something about this Jesus, who Paul says is alive.

King Agrippa asks to hear Paul’s defense and Festus agrees.

He Had Done Nothing Deserving Death

Acts 25:23–27
In Acts 25:23 King Agrippa and all of the “prominent men of the city” are present. Festus explains, he has no charge to write as he sends Paul for judgement. He only has the insistence of the Jews that Paul must not live. Festus asks their help. What is the charge?

Listen to Me With Patience

Acts 26:1–8
Paul had been held in Caesarea for two years on the word of the high priest and elders and Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The new governor, Festus, could not find charges to send him, as a roman citizen, to the judgement seat of Caesar so asks for help from King Agrippa.

As Paul says, King Agrippa was, in Acts 26:3 “are especially acquainted with both all the customs and controversial questions with respect to the Jews”. Then Paul describes his life as a Pharisee in Acts 26:4-5 which is, in Acts 26:6 “I stand here on trial on the basis of hope in the promise made by God to our fathers” and that hope, as Paul asks them in

Acts 26:8 (LEB) Why is it thought incredible by you people that God raises the dead?

It is this question of resurrection from the dead that is a central part of the gospel and this is a foundational part of Paul’s presentation. But this is not a new thought that began with the ministry of Jesus. This was spoken of long before by the prophets.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Acts 24:10-27
  • Acts 25:1-27
  • Acts 26:1-8


  • 1. Braund, D. C. (1992). Felix (Person). In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 783). New York: Doubleday.
  • 2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 213). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 3. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ac 25:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.