In the face of Tertullus’ false accusations, Paul remains calm and faithful. He is accused of ‘stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world’ (v.5). We know this not to be true. How would you have responded if you were in Paul’s situation? Would you have snapped back and attacked Tetullus’ integrity? Would you have sparked an argument or shouting match? Would you have panicked and reached for some life-line to save your skin (perhaps a bribe (v.26)?
Paul does none of these things.
Instead, he waits for his turn to speak (v.10) and then he calmly dismantles the web of lies against him. In choosing to react this way Paul allows space for the good news of Jesus to be proclaimed to Felix and his wife, Drusilla following this interrogation.
How often do we miss opportunities to win people for Jesus by reacting impulsively when others question us? Paul shows us a better way, the Jesus way, which calls us to respectfully listen to the cries of our accusers before calmly offering the way of truth and light in amongst the fog of deception.
He makes clear that he is still a faithful Jew, but his faithfulness is centred on the Messiah Jesus the one whom the whole Law and Prophets point to. May we grow in the strength to give clear, grounded answers for our faith that help people understand what it is we believe and why we believe it.
- What challenges or questions have you faced about your faith?
- How might you grow in calming presenting the light of truth when questions come your way?
Jesus, give me the strength to love those who question me, to listen to their challenges and accusations, and to calmly shine your truth in places where things appear foggy. Amen.