Thursday, October 04, 2007

Acts 12

In Jerusalem, persecution was still going on, nine years after Stephen's death. Herod (Agrippa I) had James (brother of John) put to death by the sword, and then had Peter thrown in prison. He was going to wait until after Passover to have him executed. Luke says that the church prayed earnestly to God for Peter.

Their prayers were answered, for on the evening before Herod was going to kill him, an angel rescued him from prison. Peter thought he was dreaming, but once they got outside and the angel vanished, he realized that it wasn't a dream. He knew that God had rescued him!

He went straight to the house of Mary (John Mark's mother). Many people were there praying. He came to the house and knocked on the gate. A servant girl named Rhoda recognized his voice, and her excitement she ran to tell the others, forgetting to let him in. They thought she was crazy. When they finally went to the gate and saw that it truly was Peter, they were amazed. He told them what had happened, and then instructed them to let James and the brothers know.

The next morning Herod found out what had happened, and ordered that the guards be executed.

Later on, Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came to plead with him for peace, because their food came from him. In their pleading, they called him a god. Herod, instead of turning the praise to the Most High God, received the praises, and God struck him down. He was eaten by worms. This occurred in AD 44.

At about the same time, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, where they had delivered an offering to the church there. John Mark returned with them.

No comments: