Peter’s Miraculous Escape
From Prison (Part 1)
12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church,
intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When
he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 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.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
I'm breaking this reading up in two parts because I want
to focus first on persecution. We see in today's reading that James (John's brother) was arrested and killed. Not only that, Peter is arrested! Let's not candy coat the persecution that the disciples went through. We today in America,
do not experience persecution where your life is on the line. We can live and confess our faith without fear of never going home to your family again. There are a few isolated incidences such as the Columbine Shootings, but we do not live with
daily killings, persecutions, beatings, arrests... because of our faith. Yet we are scared to talk to others about Jesus for fear of rejection. We are worried over how others perceive us, but that is not a life or death issue. So our
feelings get hurt... we still go home to our families. The Bible tells us to expect persecution!
2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Do we delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, or difficulties? Lord, help us to stand firm in our faith.
I pray: O Lord, I see what
James was killed and Peter arrested for the faith and confession. Lord, I think I need more molding and shaping because my first deep instinct is to run. Help me to stand in the face of danger and share the Gospel. Help me to not be concerned
about insults, hardships, persecutions, or difficulties. Let living your will and walking your ways be my highest priority and to do so in a way that brings glory and honor to your name. Help me to know that when I am weak, then I am strong.
Forgive me when I have chosen to keep silent when I should have spoken. Amen.