Will the real prisoner stand up?

Acts 24:17-27

 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult.  They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me. Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council, unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’ ”

But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.”  So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.

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.

But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.

 Looks like Paul had two years of enforced prison ministry.  This only provided Paul with a captive group of listeners, for he did not stop his sharing.  Felix comes to hear, brings his wife with him and listens to Paul talk of righteousness, self-control and judgment in the course of his talk of faith in Christ.  As he listens fear rises within him and he turns off the message.  We find that often is the case when we share with others.  Paul did not allow this to hinder his sharing.  As often as he was called, he shared.  The responsibility to be faithful to share rests with us, regardless of how it is received.  The one turning away was Festus, the one hearing the message, not Paul the one delivering the message.  Telling Festus how great he was and offering a bribe for freedom would have set Paul free from the prison sentence.  But Paul was already free in Christ.  Festus was the one in bondage to the consequences of sin.  Festus could walk away; Paul had to stay. True freedom was that freedom of the Spirit possessed by Paul.  Wherever we are, our relationship with the Lord is constant.  Our placement may change but the communion with the Lord does not.  It is of the Spirit and is within us, and it gives us true freedom, this freedom comes with the promise of eternal life.

2 thoughts on “Will the real prisoner stand up?

  1. I am calling this my morning and cup of coffee time with Gracie, now. It is always your blog and my first cup of coffee, the first thing in the morning:>) I am so glad you wrote this, as yesterday I was speaking to the Lord on this very thing. I asked Him, “Lord how are we really set free, by the Truth?” You answered my question, thanks be to God. God Bless, SR

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