Dive Deeper

Unstoppable (Part 37)

Rhordan Wicks


In Acts 24 we follow Paul’s story in the first of three hearings before important Roman officials. Paul was accused by the Sanhedrin of being a troublemaker, and of desecrating the temple (Acts 24:2-9). He put up a spirited defence to refute the charges against him (Acts 24:10-21).

However, the presiding Governor, Felix, was not interested in hearing the Sanhedrin or Paul. He was hoping for a bribe. Felix ultimately adjourned the matter, choosing to make no decision (Acts 24:24-27).

If the Book of Acts were a movie, Chapter 24 is a scene in which the plot seemingly does not progress at all. Why then did Luke take pains to describe this hearing? We look to the characters Felix and wife Drusilla to help shed some light.


  1. Paul makes some excellent legal points in his defence – see below for a breakdown of his arguments.

    a. Despite Paul’s sensible points and fair arguments, did he get a fair outcome in this hearing? (See Acts 24:27)

    b. Have you ever been in a position where you have felt wronged, even though you and everyone around you agree that justice should have been on your side? How did a false accusation or false punishment make you feel?

    c. How do you think Paul felt in this situation? Do you think Paul was surprised by this turn of events? (Read Matthew 5:11)

  2. When we are falsely accused, it is natural for us to try to defend ourselves. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with defending ourselves. Indeed, Paul puts up a spirited defence at this hearing. 

    a. Exodus 14:14 has often been misinterpreted to mean that Christians should always stay silent even if we are falsely accused. Compare different versions of the verse. Discuss also what Moses said in Exodus 14:14 in light of Exodus 14:11-12.

    b. In some cases, our defence might help to vindicate us. Sometimes, we will get no vindication at all. Let us look at how Paul defended himself – not all of his testimony is directly related to the charges against him. Read Acts 24:10-13 and 24:17-20. Now compare the foregoing passages to Acts 24:14-16 and Acts 24:21.

    c. Paul was a man on a mission. Even in times of trouble, he never lost sight of this. What was Paul’s mission? (See Acts 24:14-16; 24:21; and 24:25)

  3. If God is always good and just, why does He allow this injustice to be done to Paul? Consider perhaps that it was unlikely for Paul to have had such close contact with Felix the Governor of Caesarea if he had not been falsely accused by the Sanhedrin.

    a. Read Acts 24:26. Why did Felix talk to Paul so often? 

    b. Felix had an improper motive in speaking to Paul. Yet, Paul did not look down on or refuse to talk to Felix (see Acts 24:25). What improper motives might churchgoers have?

    If you knew about these motives, would you treat them any differently? What if you adopted the same mission as Paul? 

    c. Even though there is reason to believe Felix was convicted by Paul’s sharing, there is no further information on whether he decided to become a follower of Christ. Paul himself was later martyred for his faith.

    Does this mean Paul received no vindication? (Read Isaiah 54:16-17; Revelation 7:9-17) 

    d. Paul did not receive vindication against the false accusations against him on this occasion. If you were in Paul’s position, would this bother you? Do you think Paul was bothered by this injustice? Read Acts 24:15-26. (See also Philippians 1:18.)

    What might this passage mean for you today?


In uncomfortable situations, look for the opportunity to tell God’s uncompromising story.

Think about:

  • How would you summarise the message of the Gospel using your own words?
  • What is your Gospel story? 
    • What is your testimony of Justification (Righteousness) in Christ?
    • What is your testimony of Sanctification (Self-Control) through the Cross?
    • What is your testimony of the coming judgment (Glorification) in the second coming of Christ?

More on how to share your faith: 


“I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicket. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and Man.” – Acts 24:15-16 (NIV)