The Holy Spirit's Miraculous Ministry
At the same time, the church did face some real challenges, for the apostle James was imprisoned and put to death, as we can read in Acts 12:1-2
It was about this time that king Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
The next person to be put in prison was Peter, as we can read in Acts 12:3-4 When he (king Herod) saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
While in prison, an angel appeared to him and released him, as we can read in Acts 12:7-9 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up,” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me, “ the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
However, eventually the angel left, and Peter realised this was really happening, so he quickly went to the house where the believers were gathered, to tell them their prayers for his release had been answered, as we can read in Acts 12:11-12
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.” When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
They had difficulty believing that Peter had actually been released, as we can read in Acts 12:13-16.
Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door.” “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that is was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
In fact, it was easier for them to believe that Peter’s angel was at the door rather than Peter. However, God had answered their prayers and it was Peter himself who had been released.
1. According to Acts 12:1-2, who was put to death by king Herod?
2a. According to Acts 12:3-4, who did king Herod put in prison after the death of James?
2b. According to Acts 12:3-4, when was Peter put in prison?
2c. According to Acts 12:3-4, how many soldiers guarded Peter?
2d. According to Acts 12:3-4, when did king Herod intend to bring Peter out for public trial?
3a. According to Acts 12:7-9, who appeared to Peter in his cell?
3b. According to Acts 12:7-9, was Peter awake when the angel came to him?
3c. According to Acts 12:7-9, what did the angel have to do?
3d. According to Acts 12:7-9, what did the angel tell Peter to do?
3e. According to Acts 12:7-9, did Peter think he was actually leaving prison?
4. When did Peter realise he really was no longer in his prison cell?
5a. According to Acts 12:11-12, who had the angel rescued Peter from?
5b. According to Acts 12:11-12, where did Peter go?
5c. According to Acts 12:11-12, why did Peter go to the house of Mary, the mother of John, also called Mark?
6a. According to Acts 12:13-16, who came to the door when Peter knocked on it?
6b. According to Acts 12:13-16, did Rhoda open the door?
6c. According to Acts 12:13-16, what did Rhoda tell the believers who were praying for Peter?
6d. According to Acts 12:13-16, how did the beliers respond to the words of Rhoda that Peter was at the door?
6e. According to Acts 12:13-16, who did the believers think was at the door?
6f. According to Acts 12:13-16, did these believers eventually open the door?
7. Had God answered the prayers of the believers for Peter’s release from prison?