The case against Paul is now brought to Felix. The flattery stops (vv.1-4) and the accusations begin. How often will those who flatter based on their own motives then accuse based on the same…
Paul is charged with some pretty serious stuff:
“…we have found this man to be a troublemaker, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we arrested him. When you examine him yourself, you will be able to learn from him about all these things we are accusing him of doing.”
The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, claiming that these things were true.”
(Acts 24.5-9, NET)
Did you notice the seriousness of the language used against Paul? Troublemaker…riots…ringleader…sect…desecrate…arrested…accusing…Tertullus has laid a heavy case against Paul and as the chapter continues Paul will have his opportunity to defend himself (vv.10-21).
Importantly, none of these accusations are presented with any evidence. The same men who would so easily flatter Felix have so easily fabricated charges against Paul. Paul had nothing to fear from the truth of the matter, but we can’t help but wonder if he was still worried or anxious in this situation.
Whilst we may never find ourselves in the self-same situation – being on trial before a Roman governor – we can certainly find ourselves in times where we are standing for truth against a web of lies and deceit. When we do, it’s important for us to remember what Jesus said about truth: it will set you free (John 8.32). As difficult and as anxiety-ridden as those situations can be, as tempting as it can be to lower yourself to the level of your accusers and be drawn into their shady game of lies, stick to the truth and remember that light shines brightest in the dark (John 1.5).