The Jewish leaders (including high priest Ananias, some elders, and a lawyer) came to Caesarea to make their case to governor Felix against Paul. They accuse Paul for stirring up riots among the Jews and profaning the temple.
The governor then gave Paul a chance at a rebuttal. Paul declared himself innocent and said that while he was purifying himself in the temple, without any crowd or chaos around, some Jews fom Asia seized him and stirred up the Jews.
Felix sent Paul back into custody, but allowed him some freedom. Later, he came along with his Jewish wife Drusilla, and heard Paul speak about his faith in Jesus Christ and his reasoning about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment.
Felix felt alarmed and sent Paul away once again. He had hoped for Paul to bribe him, so he conversed with Paul often. Two years later, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Felix kept Paul in prison as a favor to the Jews.
Exposure to Truth Doesn't Guarantee Faith
Just because you hear the truth doesn't mean you'll believe it.
Similarly, those who are given more exposure to the truth won't necessarily have a higher chance of believing.
Take Judas Iscariot for example. He was one of the twelve! He was as close to the truth as one can possibly get, but still ended up not believing, choosing to remain in sin after 3 years with Jesus's ministry. I'm not sure whether Judas performed miracles or not, but at least he saw them.
I believe Jesus chose Judas as one of his twelve disciples for a reason–to show us that it's not all about being in the inner circle. Therefore, we can't use the excuse of not having enough exposure to avoid faith.
As Governor Felix heard Paul speak the truth, he felt uncomfortable. He himself lived a frivolous and loose life. From a position of power, he could get away with anything, even taking bribes or marrying married women (Drusilla was married to someone else).
Sometimes, our hearts know the truth but don't want to acknowledge it because it means coming to terms that we are sinful and need to repent and give up on our ways.
Politics and Favors
The Jews must have quite the influence in Roman politics if Felix decided to keep Paul in prison even after 2 whole years.
Of course, they could afford to hire lawyers, which counts as well.
I think I underestimated the amount of politics that influence decision-making. Personally, I've never been a fan of politics and could honestly care less about pleasing people rather than doing what I believe to be right. I also dislike doing things traditionally and prefer being more logical.
But it does seem to matter quite a bit in understanding the events that transpired throughout the Bible. It's an area I need to work on.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.