Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paul and Felix

Acts 24:24-26 NKJV (
And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.

So Felix (our Obscure Biblical Character) at first is all gung-ho about this Jesus stuff. He's like, 'yeah, sure, that sounds good. Let me get the wife and we'll chat'. Paul gets called a few days later and talks to Felix and his wife about Jesus, but Felix gets a little nervous. He knows what all of this means, and he doesn't like it. But he keeps Paul around. Why?

Well, at first, for two years, Felix thinks Paul will give him money, so he keeps calling him into the office (or whatever they used) and Paul keeps talking.

See, Paul had something to offer Felix that was better than money. He had the gospel. I'd take hearing the gospel over a bribe any day. But Felix must not have caught the 'you're not getting a bribe' vibe from Paul, so he just kept inviting him back, for two hours. And Paul kept giving him that gospel. Paul never gave up.

But when Felix got a new job, Paul was still there, and it was Felix's job to decide where he needed to go. So Felix decided that Paul should stay in jail, even though he was innocent, to please the Jews (kind of like Jesus was innocent of the crime they accused Him of, and the crowds overwhelmed Pontius Pilate, and Pilate gave in, and Jesus was crucified).

What can we learn from this? Even when people want other things, like money, from us, we need to show them and tell them about God's love. This doesn't mean the whole 'Hey, can I borrow a quarter for the snack machine?' 'Jesus loves you!' thing. It means that people need God's love more than anything else, and when God gives us an opportunity, we should take it.

Response Question: What would have happened, do you think, if Paul had bribed Felix to get out of jail, or to get more freedoms?

So the next Obscure Biblical Character is:
-an Old Testament mass-murder
-threatened Elijah
-got really angry when God beat Baal in a fire contest

She's in the book of 1 Kings. Good luck!

In His Service,

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