v17 This verse is translated in a way that wants us to understand that Paul hasn’t been to Jerusalem for a very long time. The Greek word here though is di’ which means “through”(many years). If it was translated “through” then it puts a different spin on the verse – that of Paul going often to Jerusalem in order to take gifts and present offerings (devout men went every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts)
- Paul would take donations to the church in Jerusalem for the people there (1 Cor 16:1-4, Deut 16:16-17)
v18 If Paul had had Gentiles with him at the temple (what he was being accused of) that would have brought about impurity. Paul cared about ceremonial purity as it was an important part of being able to worship G-d.
v19 These Jews from Asia would have also gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the festivals as commanded. They were the ones who caused Paul to be arrested and they should have been the ones giving testimony as “eyewitnesses”.
v20 Paul is wanting to know if his accusers found anything spiritually wrong/unrighteous/criminal about what he had said or done.
v21 Paul is revealing the heart of the matter to Felix. Because of Paul’s statement about resurrection (a contentious and divisive issue within the Sanhedrin) he was on trial.
v22 Felix didn’t want to be caught in the middle of a religious debate. He knew the tension that existed between the believers and the standard Jewish community (neither the Pharisees nor the Sadducees liked the believers)
v23 Paul was afforded a bit more liberty.
v24 Faith IN Yeshua. Being “in” is a term that relates to covenant. We can only be in right relationship with G-d by means of a covenant.
v25 Faith IN Yeshua, and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, obedience is produced in our lives- righteousness and self-control.
- Paul was not afraid to talk about coming judgement. Only through (in) Yeshua are we saved from eternal judgement.
v26 Felix did not care about justice or the fact that he was holding an innocent man. He was interested in money.