Scripture: Acts 12

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

Acts 12:1-19a (KJV) Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex (arrest and persecute) certain of the church.  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter (Passover) to bring him forth to the people.  Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.  And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.  And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.  And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.  And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.  10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.  11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.   12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.  13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.  14 And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.  15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.  16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James (Jesus’ brother), and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.  18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.  19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death.

Questions:

1. What did Herod the king do (Acts 12:1-5a)?

2. What did the church do (Acts 12:5b)?

3. Where was Peter (Acts 12:6)?

4. What happened to Peter (Acts 12:7)?

5. Who gave instructions to Peter and what were the instructions (Acts 12:8)?

6. What did Peter do (Acts 12:9-10)?

7. What did Peter say (Acts 12:11)?

8. To whose house did Peter go and what did he do when he arrived (Acts 12:12-13)?

9. What was Rhoda’s response when she saw Peter (Acts 12:14)?

10. What was the response of those gathered praying (Acts 12:15)?

11. What did Peter continue to do (Acts 12:16)?

12. What did Peter say and do (Acts 12:17)?

13. What happened as soon as it was day (Acts 12:18)?

14. What was Herod’s response to Peter’s disappearance (Acts 12:19)?

Answers:

1. Herod the king arrested and persecuted the church.  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword because he saw it pleased the Jews.  Herod proceeded further to take Peter and put him in prison.

2. The church prayed without ceasing for Peter. 

3. Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 

4. The angel of the Lord came to Peter, and awakened Peter and told him to arise quickly. And Peter’s chains fell off from his hands. 

5. The angel said unto Peter, “Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals.” And so Peter did. And the angel saith unto Peter, “Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.” 

6.  Peter who thought he was seeing a vision, went out, and followed the angel.  They passed the first and the second ward (guards) and when they came to the iron gate that lead unto the city; the gate open by itself and they went through it. They passed on through one street; and suddenly the angel departed from him. 

7. When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.”  

8. Peter went to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.  Peter knocked at the door of the gate.

9.  Rhoda recognized Peter’s voice, but she was so glad she ran back to the house without opening it and exclaimed that Peter was at the door of the gate.

10.  Those gathered together said unto Rhoda she was out of her mind.  When she continued saying it was Peter, they said it must be his angel.

11. Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

12. Peter beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said for them to go tell these things to James (Jesus’ brother), and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. 

13.  As soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, concerning what had become of Peter. 

14. When Herod had sought for Peter and not found him, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death.

Herod’s Death

Acts 12:19b-25 (KJV) And Herod went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.  20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.  21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration (public address) unto them.  22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.  23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.  24 But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Questions:

1. What did the people of Tyre and Sidon desire from King Herod and why did they desire it (Acts 12:19b-20)?

2. What did Herod do and how did the people respond (Acts 12:21-22)?

3. What happened immediately (Acts 12:23)?

4. What happened to the word of God (Acts 12:24)?

Answers:

1. The people of Tyre and Sidon desired peace from King Herod because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.

2. Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne and publicly address the people of Tyre and Sidon. The people gave a shout, “It is the voice of a god, and not a man.”

3. Immediately the angel of the Lord smote Herod because he didn’t give God the glory.  Herod was eaten by worms and died.

4. The word of God grew and multiplied.

HEAR the WORD

Acts 12:2-4 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison …

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the verses above.  Why do you believe James was killed but Peter was just arrested and put in prison? My Bible notes: This is a question we cannot possibly answer in this life because we do not see all that God sees.  But we can trust God’s leading because He has promised to destroy all evil eventually.  In the meantime, we know that God will help us use our suffering to strengthen us and glorify Him.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Acts 12:11 (NIV) Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent His angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

As believers we will experience many supernatural happenings.  Sometimes we will recognize those events such as when we’re healed.  Other times when we are kept from harm we may not actually realize that it happened.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

Those times we do realize God’s intervention we need to share the event with those around us.  And every day we should thank God for His care of us and those we love.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will seek Your Presence in our life (Acts 12:5).  Lord, I pray we will always thank You for Your intervention in our life (Acts 12:6-7).  Lord, I pray we will share with others what You are doing in our life (Acts 12:17). Lord, I pray we will give You and You alone praise (Acts 12:23).    Lord, I pray we will spread Your Word (Acts 12:24). In Your Son, Christ Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I boldly share God’s Word with those around us.” <>< Dona