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Acts: Chapter 12

Categories: ActsTags: 2 min read

The growing interest in the teachings of Jesus, as proclaimed by the believers, led to a great deal of persecution of those who were called Christians.

Acts 12:1 – 3 The Herod mentioned in this chapter was probably the nephew of the one who killed John the Baptist. This Herod was keen to please both the Jews and the Romans by persecuting and killing the Christians.

Acts 12:4 – 6 Four squads of soldiers were employed to guard certain prisoners. Each squad of four soldiers took turns to ensure that the prisoner did not escape. Two guarded the door of the prison and two were chained to the prisoner.

Acts 12:7 – 10 When the angel appeared both Peter and the guards were sleeping. Guards were not supposed to sleep when on duty. Peter had been so deeply asleep that he felt as though he was dreaming as his chains were removed and the gate into the city was opened by the angel.

Acts 12:11 – 12 As soon as the angel left him Peter realised that it was not a dream but that he had been freed from prison by the hand of God. While Peter had been in prison many believers had gathered at the house of Mary and John Mark. They were praying for Peter.

Acts 12:13 – 17 Although the believers had been praying and hoping for Peter’s release they were still surprised to be told by Rhoda that he was at the door. They did not believe it was him until they saw for themselves. Peter realised that, as Herod was searching for him, he could cause trouble for the disciples if he stayed at the house so he went into hiding.

Acts 12:18 – 19 The punishment for guards, who allowed a prisoner to escape, was death.

Acts 12:20 Herod went to Caesarea where he could oversee what was happening in Tyre and Sidon. The people in this area relied on the organisation of food supplies during the famine and wanted to stay on good terms with Herod. Acts 12:21 – 23 The people of Tyre and Sidon flattered Herod and praised him as though he was one of their gods. Herod acted as though he had supreme authority and did not give glory to the one God. In comparison, in Acts 3:12, when the lame man was healed, Peter immediately gave glory to God for the miracle. Herod was punished for his attitude but the believers continued praising God and teaching about the fulfilment of God’s purpose through Jesus.



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