Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Tertullus, the Orator
Act 24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that
very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, 3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. 7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
Tertullus was a bag of hot air, a hired gun for the religious elders and Ananias, the high priest. He used flowery words and flattery to butter up Felix. Oh, he knew how to work this pontificating governor. There was nothing noble about the nobility in this account. They were dead set against the cross of Christ and the servant of the Lord, Apostle Paul.
But Tertullus had met his match in Paul. Highly educated and full of the Spirit, Paul brought a defense that caused Felix to favor Paul's plea, so much so that Paul was given liberty to move about, receive visitors and an opportunity to preach the gospel to the governor and his wife, Drusilla.
Note to all believers: No matter how honest, sincere and noble your words and actions, the devil hates you and will employ any and every evil measure to destroy you. He is not bound by the rules of fair play. He is a liar and the father of all liars, like Tertullus. Jesus warned us that, in the last days, we would be brought before the law and falsely accused, persecuted and martyred. Stay sober and vigilant, and be faithful unto the end. A crown awaits you in glory.