Acts + Letters Lesson 8 Day 3

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Acts 12:6-11


Peter is miraculously set free.

6. Peter’s escape

Trying to gain more favor with the Jews, Herod arrests Peter. He doesn’t immediately behead him like James because of the crowds in Jerusalem for the Days of Unleavened Bread. He planned to hold him in prison until after Passover to avoid a possible unfavorable reaction.

Because Peter escaped prison before, Herod assigned four squads (a total of 16 soldiers) to guard him. Peter slept soundly chained to a guard on each side with the others outside the door.

Meanwhile, the church continues to intercede for Peter’s release. An angel of Lord suddenly appears standing beside Peter and smacks him and says, “Hurry up! Let’s go! Instantly the chains fell off. Peter put on his sandals and his cloak as instructed and followed the angel. No one saw them leave, and when they reached the gate, it swung open by itself.

When they made their way into the city, the angel disappeared just as quickly as he appeared. Peter thought it was a vision or a dream.

Fascinating points

  • The angel lit up the dungeon.
  • Peter slept soundly between two guards. Everyone but Peter slept through the whole thing—heavenly light, chains falling on stone floor, conversation, dressing, and footsteps.
  • The gate appears to open by itself.

7. a. Obedience

Both James and Peter remain faithful. Neither disobeyed God, yet Herod executed James immediately, and delayed Peter’s. God could have rescued James, too.

In heaven’s realm, perhaps James is honored as the first martyred apostle.

If we are willing and obedient, God will use us to fulfill his plans and purposes.

b. God’s ways

Not knowing what’s going on is the hardest thing for me. Deeply pondering this passage.

Personal application

—Pray diligently for the persecuted. God hears and moves in amazing ways.

—Don’t worry about the iron gate before I get to it.

—Obey God even when I don’t know what is happening.

A more recent escape story

 F.F. Bruce relates the story of Sundar Singh, a Tibetan Christian who was likewise freed miraculously from a prison. For preaching of the gospel, he was thrown into a well, and a cover set over it and securely locked. He would be left in the well until he died, and he could see the bones and rotting corpses of those who had already perished in there.

On the third night of his imprisonment, he heard someone unlocking the cover of the well and removing it. A voice told him to take hold of the rope that was being lowered. Sundar was grateful that the rope had a loop he could put his foot in, because he had injured his arm in the fall down into the well.

He was raised up, the cover was replaced and locked, but when he looked to thank his rescuer he could find no one. When morning came, he went back to the same place he was arrested and started preaching again. News of the preaching came to the official who had him arrested, and Sundar was brought before him again. When the official said someone must have gotten the key and released him, they searched for the key – and found it on the official’s own belt. God is still writing the Book of Acts!  (Enduring Word)



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Resources link

My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 8 Day 3