Acts 24 … Consider Him, According to The Way

“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers…” (24:14). 

As the Jews are busy constructing their case against Paul, as well as buttering up the ego of Felix, they totally and completely miss Him; the only One able to provide true peace, perfect foresight and wisdom to enact reforms; the only One truly worthy of all thankfulness, praise and honor for such glorious gifts of grace.

“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… 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,” (24:2-3, 5).

And in their sanctimonious and smug condition, and based on their own judgment, they have decided exactly who and what this “ringleader of the sect” is all about.

But as we pay attention to Paul’s defense, we will hear him defending, not himself, but truth and grace, defending Him, According to The Way.

“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked,” (24:14-15). 

 In Paul’s reference to “the Way,” we are reminded it is not “a way” or “some way,” but The Way.”

Jesus also referred to Himself in like manner.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6). 

 Consider Him, According to The Way

  •  He is The Way rejected and misunderstood:“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect…” (24:14).
  • He is The Way resulting in service:“… I do serve the God of our fathers…” (24:14).
  • He is The Way, revealed in Scripture:“… believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;” (24:14).
  • He is The Way of hope:“… having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves…” (24:15).
  • He is The Way announcing the certainty of a resurrection:“that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked, (24:15).
  •  He is The Way through faith in Him:But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus, (24:24).
  • He is The Way, declaring righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment:But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, (24:25).
  • He is The Way, patiently offering the opportunity to choose:“Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you,” (24:25).

 How do we respond to Him, According to the Way?

 In this account, we see three possible and distinct responses:

1) In the Jewish elders, we see those committed to a spirituality of their own making, who examine the facts against their own understanding and traditions.

“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… 8 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, (24:5, 8-9).

  • Oh, many we never consider our opinions, understandings or traditions as a reliable barometer for truth and life. We must depend on His Holy Spirit to teach us as we daily seek the truth and wisdom of His Holy Word.
    • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words, (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).
    • See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ, (Colossians 2:8).

2) In Felix, we see a man committed to earthly pleasure, rejecting repeated opportunities to respond to God’s grace, while seeking the temporal above the eternal.

At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him. 27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned, (24:22,26-27).

  • Oh, that we would have our hearts set on Him alone, desiring Him above all earthly pleasures, seeking the true eternal riches of His Kingdom through faith.
    • “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:19-21).
    • Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5).

3) And in Paul, amidst the misled and misguided obsessions of the self-righteous Jewish elders and the greedy, short-sighted Felix, we see a man devoted to God, to His Word and to the ministry.

“In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men,” (24:16).

Paul served, worshipped and placed all his hope in the God of his fathers as revealed in the Law and the Prophets. All too often we neglect the Old Testament as being too difficult to understand, or perhaps culturally irrelevant. But we absolutely need the entire counsel of God, written in both the Law and the Prophets and the New Testament; for all of Scripture is written to reveal the promises of God fulfilled and yet to come in His Beloved Son.

Let us not shy away from studying all of Scripture. All of God’s Word is exactly that… God’s Word, essential in His sanctifying work in our lives to live and serve Him well.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • Let us commit to grow in His Word that we would know and understand His will, to share about faith in Jesus Christ, that we too would maintain a blameless conscience before God and man.
    • Your testimonies are righteous forever;
      Give me understanding that I may live,
      (Psalm 119:144).
    • Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God, (Colossians 3:16).

And though many may misunderstand, and yes even reject Him, let us ask Him to strengthen us in our service and worship as we see Him revealed in Scripture. He is The Way of hope through faith in His death, burial and resurrection. May we depend on His Holy Spirit to lead us in sharing the truth of eternity apart from His saving grace, that others may believe and receive His imparted righteousness by faith.

May we never forget God’s kindness and patience as we share the gospel.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:14).

Oh that we would grow to become like Paul in his relentless desire to bring the message of the gospel to all those in need and in his undaunted boldness to share Him, According to The Way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6). 

Let’s Grow Together!

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