Peter, of course, has been sitting in jail surely pondering his ultimate fate at the hands of Herod. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, (Often typical of God, we are left waiting out our destiny until the last screaming edge minute!)
It’s the middle of the night. Peter is sleeping between 2 guards, chained up and locked behind a guarded prison door, locked inside the iron city gates. Sounds like all the extra precautions placed on Houdini before he attempts an escape underwater.
(I have to pause here to note that Peter is sleeping. These last few nights I have had been worried – it has disrupted my sleep. Peter is enviable in this regard. I have a new sleep number bed. He has a stone floor, rattle-y chains and probably two snoring guards. I am staring at the ceiling. He’s having a comfortable dream. What does that say about my ability to “rest in Jesus”?)
So, in Peter’s dream, an angel sneaks in, zaps off the chains, and tells him to get dressed and to “follow my lead.” They waltz out of the prison, two-step pass the guards, wait for the magic city gate to silently swing open and then do the boot-scootin’ boogie down the first street – angel disappears. Peter realizes “hey this is no dream!”
“Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
Peter decided he better tell somebody so he goes to John Mark’s mother’s house where people happen to be praying for him. The servant girl is so shocked to find him knocking she forgets to let him in! The brothers and sisters think she’s nuts when she announces Peter’s arrival. Peter keeps knocking because he doesn’t want to be found and recaptured. (The whole scene reminds me of Mission Impossible meets Obi Wan Kenobi!)
Eventually they get it together and let him in. Peter cuts to the chase and describes how the Lord has rescued him out of prison and very likely spared his life. “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place. Someplace off the beaten path no doubt until the dust settles.
Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. I love that line! 🙂 Herod can’t find him so he takes it all out on the guards and has them executed. Nice guy. He now has a miserable head ache and decides to take some time off down in Caesarea.
This is a classic Bible Story and I’m likely to chuckle at how God ruled the day.
But, if I had been Peter….”I remember how I thought I was going to die for Jesus – just like James. And how God sent an angel for me…for me… I thought it was a dream but it was real. God just saved me. My heart was pounding so loudly I was sure it would give me away… I thought I would be safe at Mary’s house… I couldn’t get in right away… And when, I did get in…we were all in shock but glad. Amazed. We were in awe of God answering our prayers and of His rescuing me. We knew we had to get word to James and the brothers. They needed to be encouraged too. God is with us! He is surely with us!”
His miracles make a lasting impression.
Those who have been rescued have some story to tell.
About the World?
Jer. 33:3 – that’s God’s phone number.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.