“After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison” (Acts 24:27 NLT).

Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and delivered to Marcus Antonius Felix, the Roman Governor of Judea, at Caesarea Maritima (“By the Sea”). He was imprisoned there for two years, but was allowed the freedom to be visited by friends and receive help from them. Although it was the unscrupulous Felix who kept Paul there, hoping for a bribe and seeking favor with the Jewish leaders, surely it was God’s will for Paul to stay there for a while. For Paul had the freedom to regularly preach to Felix and his wife, Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Paul also had the freedom to reach out to his Christian brothers and sisters in Israel, while being protected by mighty Rome from his Jewish enemies.
Caesarea Marítima was the major seaport for the Judean Province. It was a beautiful place. Herod’s summer palace was there. And so was the home of the Roman Governor. Paul was able to expand his ministry influence, while living in a Roman prison at this important crossroads. Soon Porcius Festus, the new governor, would hear Paul’s testimony and ultimately send him on to Rome to appeal to Caesar.