Read Acts 12 – part one. Let me explain the cast of characters before we dive into the awesome miracles.
Herod was the grandson of Herod the great, who ordered the Jewish babies execution when Jesus was born. He was also the nephew of Herod Antipas, who ruled over Jesus’s trial… all of them were evil.
James is the brother of John, the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder – not the author of the book of James (that James was Jesus’s half brother).
Okay, ready? James is the first martyred apostle. This would have shaken the apostles from the illusion that they had divine protection… if James could be killed, they all could.
Peter was also imprisoned and Herod had every intent on killing him too because it pleased the Jews. It was a good political gesture. Isn’t that sickening?
Meanwhile, the rest of the church is fevrantly praying for Peter at Mary’s house (she is Marks mother – there are 6 Mary’s in the Bible – that’s a whole rewarding study of its own). Okay, exhale, Beloved. This is the end of part one. Good job!
Acts 12 – part two. Picture Peter in prison. He’s not a violent man. Yet he is chained between two soldiers, behind a guarded door within a locked and secure prison. It was a humanly hopeless situation, but God didn’t think so.
The Lord heard the prayers and sent rescue. He loosened the chains, unlocked the doors, kept the guards asleep, and Peter simply walked out with angelic protection!
Peter didn’t even know it was real; he thought it was a vision, :6-11. He goes to Mary’s, where the church is praying for his safety, and…. Were you giggling just a little at the details? It was like a comedy skit!
Beloved, have you ever had your prayers answered and it took you a while to realize it? I look back in my journals every now and then and God amazes me… he’s broken more than a few chains in my life too.
Evil Herod investigated the breach and it cost the sentries their lives, but his wickedness catches up with him and he is struck down be an angel, eaten by worms, and breathed his last.
Things end on a high note for the church, :24-25. Beloved, when life gets crazy, God is still working all things out for your good and His glory. Praise God!