- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Acts 24
Paul defended himself before Jews in Caesarea (2)
Paul stood on trial before governor Felix.
Felix was the judge of the trial. The High priest Ananiah, elders, a lawyer Tertullus were group of prosecutor against Paul. Their charged Paul for trouble making, stirring up riots, ringleader of the Nazarene sect, desecrating temple. And Jews jointed their accusation.
Paul, the accused, defended himself, speaking of their accusation not true, that he worshipped the God of his ancestors, following the Way, believing everything that agreed with the Law and was written in the Prophets, having the same hope in God as the accusers had, the hope of the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, striving always to keep his conscience clear befor God and men. Only one thing he was on trial, Paul clearly stated, was concerning the resurrection of the dead. Felix knew well about the Way, Jesus Christ and his teaching, and he was interested in hearing more about it from Paul. At the same time, he wanted bribe from Paul too. Felix found no guilty from Paul. However, because of his fear of public uproar from the Jews, he decided to guard Paul in custody for two years with limited freedom.
Meditating on Paul’s trial reminded us of Jesus’ trial before the governor Pontius Pilate, as recorded in four Gospels, Matthew27:11-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:27). “Are you the king of the Jews?” was the question Pilate asked Jesus. “the resurrection of the dead,” was only reason why Paul was on trial before Felix, high priests, elders, and Jews. Two Roman governors made verdict for their political reason even though they knew the accused were not guilty. However, the truth that Jesus is the king of the Jews, Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and the hope of the resurrection has been the core beliefs of Christian faith
Paul bore it in his life and ministry. “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:3). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”( Philippians 3:10-11)
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Sing the hymn, “Are Ye Able,” with meditation on the cross of Jesus.
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.