‘Most Excellent’ Felix was married to a Jewess, Drusilla. He had some knowledge about Jewish faith and even Christian faith. (Acts 24:22) He was convinced that Paul was innocent, and he deserved liberty. Felix visits Paul again with Drusilla, when Paul exhorts about: Righteousness, self-control and forthcoming Judgement. Alarmed Felix aske Paul to leave and he promised to summon at ‘right time’ which never came for him. Strangely, Felix was hoping to get a huge bribe to do his duty to set free the innocent which was Paul’s right.
1) Token freedom: Felix knew the truth, righteousness and justice, but gave scant regard for those values. Hence, to ease his guilt conscience gave Paul partial liberty, allowing Paul to have friends visit him. (Acts 24:23) Probably Felix did that to know Paul’s influence as well as access to wealthy friends who could pay for his freedom.
2) Blinded: Felix knew what was right and acted to give partial liberty to Paul. However, it had selfish motive. His covetousness for wealth blinded him. “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.” (Exodus 24:8) Yes, Felix had clear sense of justice as he was familiar with Jewish Nation, their faith, Mosaic Laws and The Way (Christian faith). Bribe blinded him to become narrow-minded and money focused. His secret service officers would have given report about the friends of Paul, who could easily purchase the freedom. May be Philemon and Lydia could have been on that list.
3) Win-Win: Felix also thought like Judas. Lord Jesus would be arrested, but He will escape, but Judas thought he will become richer. Felix also thought, Paul would set free after a delay of few months, but Felix would become richer
4)Subverted justice: Felix by delaying justice, ultimately denied justice for Paul. As we know that Paul sailed to Rome as a prisoner and was beheaded.
Do I realize getting bribe is violation of Tenth Commandment?