rose to speak. First, he
flattered Felix in the hope that Felix would side with the Jews. Tertullus said, "Honorable Felix, by your leadership we
enjoy peace. Your good work is known in this province and throughout the nation. We accept your leadership, most noble Felix, with
all thankfulness. Now I do not want to bore you, but I pray that you will be kind enough to listen to a few words."
Felix knew well how the Jews hated Roman officials. He was not fooled by Tertullus' flattery. Then Tertullus began to speak about Paul. No longer did he speak in a gracious tone. Instead he lashed out, "We have found this man Paul a terrible troublemaker. He has caused trouble among the Jews throughout the world. He is the ringleader of a group known as the Nazarenes.
"When he attempted to dishonor our temple, we tried him according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came and took him away from us by force. Now we come to you, most noble Felix, so you will know what we have against Paul."
And the Jews agreed that Tertullus had spoken for all of them.
Now Felix wanted to hear Paul's side of the story. He motioned to Paul to speak.
Paul said, "Honorable Felix, I speak for myself more cheerfully because you have known this nation for many years. You can easily find out that it was only twelve days ago that I went up to Jerusalem to worship God. The leaders did not find me stirring up the people;
they seized me while I was alone in the temple. The men who now accuse me cannot prove their charges.
"They condemn the way I worship God. Yet I believe all that is written in the Law of Moses and in the books of the prophets. I
have always tried to keep my heart free from wrong toward God and man."
As Felix listened he knew the Jews did not have any real charges or evidence against Paul. He said, "I will wait until Lysias comes
so I can find out more about this matter." With that he dismissed the council.
Felix commanded a captain to watch Paul but allow him to have some liberty. Friends could come and go whenever they liked.
Several days later Felix sent for Paul again. He and his wife wanted to hear about the gospel of Christ. As Paul talked earnestly
with them, Felix was convicted of his sins. Trembling he told Paul,
"Go away for now. When I have more time, I will send for you."
Two years passed and Paul was still a prisoner at Caesarea, though he had many privileges. Felix had called for Paul often, hoping to
be bribed to set Paul free. Even though he knew Paul did not deserve
to be kept a prisoner, he refused to let him go.