24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. 27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.
I find this a passage of frustrations.
Felix and Drusilla are open to hearing the gospel, but are unwilling to receive it. Felix recognises the danger he is in from God’s judgement, but continues to be corrupt (keeping Paul in gaol in the hope of either a bribe, or the political favour of the Jews). He’s afraid of judgement but won’t accept God’s rescue.
So for two years Paul’s ministry is trapped in futility. If he were not a prisoner he would have shaken the dust from his feet and moved on. But he can’t.
What do you do in fruitless seasons like this?
Paul continues to patiently discuss the gospel with the unresponsive Felix. And eventually that season comes to an end.
Written by David Cornell