The Letter of Recommendation: Acts 23:25-30
“25) And he wrote a letter having this form: 26) “Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix, greetings. 27) “When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28) And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council; 29) and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law, but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment. 30) “When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you.”” Acts‬ ‭23‬:‭25‬-‭30‬
We are now introduced to the world of politics. The commander sent a letter to Claudius Lysias that accurately represented the dispute the Jews had against Paul, but embellished his own role in the matter to cover his own back.
For example, he failed to mention that he had put Paul in chains and prepared to examine him by scourging. He also made it sound like he came to Paul’s rescue because he had learned that Paul was a Roman citizen being treated unjustly by the Jewish council.
Paul was in no place to argue. After all, it was he and not the Roman commander that was on trial by the Jews. He was most likely thankful overall for the favor eventually given him by the Roman commander.
Two thing do stand out in the letter. First, the commander recognized the accusations against Paul were religious disputes and did not rise to the level of deserving death or imprisonment by Roman civil law. In his opinion, Paul was an innocent man.
Second, there was a devious plot against Paul that was both unjust and dangerous. His accusers were both underhanded and deceitful. In his assessment, truth and integrity sided with Paul.
The letter amounted to a letter of recommendation on behalf of Paul. It was definitely favorable toward him. One is left wondering what conversations Paul had with the Roman commander? Did he share the gospel with him? Did he become a believer? He at least seemed favorable to both Paul and the Christian cause.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global