but felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the way, put them off, saying, “when lysias the tribune comes down, i will decide your case.” then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.

after some days felix came with his wife drusilla, who was jewish, and he sent for paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. and as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, felix was alarmed and said, “go away for the present. when i get an opportunity i will summon you.” at the same time he hoped that money would be given him by paul. so he sent for him often and conversed with him. when two years had elapsed, felix was succeeded by porcius festus. and desiring to do the jews a favor, felix left paul in prison. [acts 24:22-27]



everyone you meet today, in the grocery store, at a soccer game, at the drive-thru, at the gym, or anywhere else, has been sovereignly appointed to meet you in just that moment. paul’s life, felix’s life and drusilla’s life have been on a collision course since their births–felix and drusilla were rulers, their lives were marked by the drama and turmoil of roman politics, and their intersection with paul’s story only lends credence to its validity. 


paul wrote thirteen books, his testament to Jesus has been read and embraced by billions.  his words have been scrutinized and tested over 2000 years. here, these two get an opportunity to sit in the presence of the most powerful evangelist of Jesus’ message that the world has ever known, and yet–we have no indication that they believed.  he must have pleaded and reasoned with them–they were so close to the kingdom–and yet so far.


what can we learn from this incident?


  1. it does not depend on us.


o! if even paul could not convince them, then no one could; it is Jesus who save, it is Jesus who calls  it is Jesus who gives us salvation! 


so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. [1 corinthians 3:7]


  1. tell everyone.


paul didn’t let his predicament stop him–he was ready to share the word with everyone he met–even, especially a corrupt governor and his jewish wife–as long as they were coming around, he was ready to speak to them. there are those in my life that are like this–they know what i believe, and they don’t believe in Jesus, but they keep coming around–interest does not necessarily mean that they will be saved, but it does mean that they will hear the gospel over and over!


preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. [2 timothy 4:2]


  1. not everyone will come.


brothers and sisters, let us not be discouraged when we are rejected, left in prison. we don’t know very much about felix and drusilla after this time. we know that felix continues his bad behavior, but goes unpunished by the authorities–he and his wife die without historical record.. perhaps in their dying days, felix and drusilla remembered their gospel conversations with paul perhaps they repented and believed in Jesus Christ.  but perhaps not–why did God allow them to hear the gospel, regularly, and for years without their response?


what if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the jews only but also from the gentiles?  [romans 9:22-24]


and so we plead with those around us as God patiently works in and through our own hearts, our own gratitude growing for the mercy shown to us as we share Jesus Christ with everyone we meet. o to be in glory with Jesus!



~ conor eastman