PAUL’S FAITHFUL WITNESS
Paul was held prisoner by the Roman procurator of Judea, Marcus Antonius Felix for two years. Felix understood the religious culture of Judea better than most Romans, having married the daughter of Herod Agrippa I, Drusilla. Both of them divorced their first spouses in order to be together.
Paul’s captivity during these two years was not in a prison, but under the custody of a Roman officer who was instructed by Felix to allow him some freedom and for his friends to visit and attend to his needs. During this time, Felix often sent for Paul at his official residence in Caesarea Maritima, so that he and Drusilla could hear more about Paul’s faith in Christ. As Paul reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix often became frightened and sent Paul away until another time.
After two years, Felix was recalled to Rome. Some time later Drusilla and their son were visiting Pompeii, where they died in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Felix remarried a third time, and later died of tuberculosis.
One has to wonder what effect these two years of regular conversations with Paul had on Felix and Drusilla. As for Paul, his patience to share the gospel even while in chains, showed his singular focus on the Lord’s calling.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to be faithful in our witness, always taking about our faith in Christ even when we are in difficult circumstances. For You are always at work and we are often called to places where You want to offer the gospel through us. Strengthen us to be obedient during these times. In Jesus’ name, amen.