24:1 And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul. 2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:

“Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”

9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.

Acts 24:1–9 ESV Read More

These guys know how to do it.

The leaders waited 5 days before they came and brought their case against Paul. That means for 5 days, Paul has been sitting in prison and somebody has had to bring him all of his food. If nobody brings him food, he starves. So in some ways, his opponents are waiting to see if they need to bring a case. If nobody supports him, he’ll just die waiting.

But one of the core teachings of early Christianity was that we share our stuff and take care of one another, so Paul is doing just fine.

They also know that this is a politically volatile time. The Romans have squashed several uprisings in the past hundred years or so and they sure as Ceasar don’t want to have another one. (They are about 10 or so years from completely destroying the temple after an uprising. One that would tear it down so bad that it still hasn’t been rebuilt.) If the Jewish leaders want to hit Felix in his weak spot, they’ll threaten his peaceful reign.

I love how they say “throughout the world.” You have to wonder if Paul heard that and winked over at Luke. I hope he did. I don’t even know what winking meant in that culture, but I still hope Paul winked at Luke when they said that.

Nicolas Cage Wink GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Isn’t this just like Ephesus? These troublemakers threaten our power! Let’s appeal to the political powers to freak everyone out against them! Great is Artemis! Great job Felix!

In all of the cities, it was always the local establishment that rioted and caused the disturbance in reaction to Paul’s Gospel.

It was powerful.

It provoked radical changes in the established way of life.

Once the word about Jesus got out, entire towns got transformed.

May we pray for such a movement (and maybe even accusations) in our own day.

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