It was the plain and simple truth that Paul used to defend himself. Liars will have their way, yes; but only for a while. Lasting victory comes, sometimes late, but always on the side of truth. The truth sets free; and those whom the Son set free are truly free indeed.

Paul’s accusers, led by the high priest Ananias and the attorney Tertullus, used common courtesies, flatteries really, to get the governor Felix on their side. Tertullus practiced such flattery tactics as reference to the peace and reforms that came with his foresight. Colonised people, it seems, have always known how to curry favour with the representatives of the oppressor!

And then they follow the well taught and quickly learned rule – “Divide and Rule.” Tertullus told their well-fabricated lies, built, of course, around the truth in such a fashion that truth could not easily be disentangled from fact. That’s lying at its helm!

But Paul was also well educated. And so there he went using a more acceptable brand of flattery, Felix’ experience in judging matters of the nation. The accused spoke his truth clearly and convincingly, admitting that he belonged the Way, the controversial group which, Felix already knew, his accusers wanted to exterminate. Paul admitted his bias, much to his advantage as Felix, himself intrigued by this group, decided to delay proceedings until the arrival of Lysias the tribune.

No doubt, Felix wanted time out with Paul, not the least because of his expectation of bribery; but maybe also because of his fascination with Paul. and the people of the Way However, when he came with his Jewish wife and listened to Paul’s faith-sharing, it was too disturbing. How Felix wanted to roll back the time! He wished that he had not been stirred in such a manner as to be drawn into making a response to Paul’s teaching.

‘Go away’ he said, ‘and come back later’ meaning that he would decide subsequently.  But in effect, by postponing his decision, he had made a decision. When it comes to deciding for Jesus Christ, the time is always now.

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