But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (Acts 24:22-27)
Felix was disturbed by Paul’s preaching because it reminded him of the coming day when God would judge the sins of all men, his own included, and because he knew through his wife the Jewish prophecies of the Messiah. He knew that he needed to hear more clear teaching from Paul, and he also hoped for a bribe, so he did not set him free.
From this point on Paul will be passed without decision – like a ball in the hands of a juggler – from one authority to another; from governor to governor, from governor to petty king, from king to Rome. And in this way God’s will for him would come about.