“When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.”
~ Acts 24:27
Hi James and Ellen,
How would you like to spend a couple of years in a jail? The two and a half years that your grandmaa and grandpaa lived in Canada – in Guelph, Ontario, sometimes felt to your grandmaa and grandpaa like they had been locked up in a jail. Your grandpaa was asked if he would let his name stand with two other guys on a list to be considered for the Canadian South America Mission Executive Director position. If your grandpaa could have come up with just one reason to say no to being considered for the position of being the Canadian South America Mission Executive Director, your grandpaa would have said no. Your grandmaa and grandpaa were living in a nice house in Lantana, Florida. Your grandpaa liked Florida’s hot, muggy weather. Your grandmaa and grandpaa really did not want to move to a place that was cold. Your grandpaa was selected to replace the guy who started Canadian South America Mission. Your grandmaa and grandpaa were happy to do what they could to help Zack and Dee relocate back to the United States and to Florida – where they had a house. Zack and Dee had befriended your grandmaa and grandpaa. Zack had had diabetes for years. Zack had had radical surgery. Zack had angina so bad that he had difficulty just climbing the couple of steps into his apartment. Your grandmaa and grandpaa – in July of 1992, took their stuff using a U-Haul to Guelph where they moved into an apartment in the same apartment complex where Zack and Dee were living. After moving to Guelph, your grandmaa began to experience persistent migraine type headaches. During a visit to the chiropractor who your grandmaa had begun to go to after she strained her back, the chiropractor told your grandmaa that if she was living just ten or fifteen miles in any direction from Guelph, that your grandmaa probably would not be having the kinds of throbbing headaches that she was regularly having. Guelph is purportedly situated where air masses or fronts collide. Guelph – to your grandmaa and grandpaa, seemed to be at times like a gloomy, dreary, oppressive dungeon.
Paul was in a jail for two years. The ‘James and Ellen’ that your grandpaa sent to you yesterday was from the Galatians Letter that Paul sent to the emergent Christ-follower fellowships of guys and gals who were living in the region of Galatia. Paul informed the Galatia region Christ-follower guys and gals in his Galatians Letter that he had had to confront Peter while he was in the town of Antioch together with Peter because Peter had given the Gentile Christ-follower guys and gals – who were probably with Paul, the cold shoulder when he opted to spend his time with some guys who were Judaizers. Judaizers insisted that guys and gals who were Gentile Christ-followers needed to also apply Old Testament works mandates to how they were to live their lives. Your grandpaa mentioned that he was ‘still trying to reconcile why Paul did what he did years later in the city of Jerusalem when he went along with James’ request that he honor an Old Testament law and go through a works based purification ceremony with some guys who were Jews. What Doctor Luke scribed to his very good friend Theophilus in his Acts Book documentary – in Acts 24, took place between seven to ten years after Paul confronted Peter in the town of Antioch. In spite of a warning that Paul was given from guys who God sent to tell him what would happen to him if he went on to the city of Jerusalem, Paul insisted on going on to the city of Jerusalem because he sincerely felt that God . . . not long after Paul arrived in the city of Jerusalem, Paul acquiesced to James request that he go through purification rites with four guys who were Jews. It was not like Paul did something wrong but . . .
Seven days after Paul arrived in the city of Jerusalem, Paul was back in the town of Caesarea. On his way to the city of Jerusalem, Paul had stopped in the town of Caesarea– where he stayed with Phillip and his four unmarried daughters. While Paul was in the town of Caesarea, Agabus – using Paul’s belt, tied Paul up to symbolically convey to Paul what would to happen to him if he went on to the city of Jerusalem. Five days after a detachment of soldiers, horsemen and spearmen took Paul to the town of Caesarea’s jail, Ananias – the high priest, with some of the seventy-one Sanhedrin elders and Tertullus – who was a Roman or Hellenistic Jew lawyer, arrived in the town of Caesarea after a sixty mile trek from the city of Jerusalem to level troublemaker charges against Paul before Felix – who was the area governor. After Felix heard the charges against Paul and after hearing Paul defend himself, Felix adjourned the proceedings after telling everyone that he had decided to have Lysias – who was a commander, decide Paul’s case. Even though he had eradicated a band of robbers, thwarted a gang of organized assassins and crushed a movement that was being led by an Egyptian during the six years that he was Rome’s governor in the town of Caesarea, Felix was suspect in his integrity. Felix had lust, pride, greed and selfish ambition issues that made going against a group of Jewish leaders a problem for him – unless Paul gave him some get out of jail money. Instead of freeing Paul, verse 27 reports, “When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.” The two years that Paul was in the town of Caesarea’s jail, Paul did not write any letters. Why do you think that Paul did not write any letters?
Acts 24 (759)