After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges to the governor against Paul. After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying to the governor, "Since we have through you attained much peace, and since by your providence reforms are being carried out for this nation, we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. But, that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing. For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. [ We wanted to judge him according to our own Law. But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands, ordering his accusers to come before you.] By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him." The Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so. (Acts 24:1-9 NASB)
The Jewish representatives arrived in Antipatris and the case against Paul, before Felix the Governor, was presented. Tertullus, a lawyer, spoke as the representative of the Jewish council. The name "Tertullus" is Roman in origin. However, it wasn't unusual for Jewish people to have a Roman name. He could have been a Jew or he could have been a Roman. We aren't certain. Either way, he was a hired representative to eloquently present Ananias' case before Felix.
As Tertullus begins his address, he uses flattery to set up his following remarks. As I read this passage, it strikes me as nauseating to listen to the rhetoric of those who desire to gain favor from a ruling authority by buttering them up. The Jews didn't particularly like the Romans or their rule over them. Furthermore, it disgusts me that religious leaders would stoop to Satans level to attack someone simply because they disagreed with his theology. Although these Jewish leaders were trying to defend their faith and customs, they were unwilling to listen to, and submit to, the truth. They had gotten so wrapped up in their own religious practices that they couldn't see the truth when it stated them in the face. Our faith must be defended, but not in an ungodly, hateful, murderous manner. We must speak the truth, live the truth, and never compromise the truth. We must, however, never allow our conduct to be anything less than what would be acceptable to Jesus Christ. We should ask ourselves, "How would Jesus handle this"?
False accusations and misrepresentation of the story was what Tertullus told Felix.
When we are falsely accused, let's let God fight our battles. We must not let the devil cause us to react in a way that compromises the integrity of Jesus name.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12 KJV)
Rev. Curtis Norris