An Unbelievable Prison Break - Acts 12

An Unbelievable Prison Break

Acts 12:1-25

Herod the king harassed the church, and killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.  "And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also."  The apostle was put in prison, where he was to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each.  Peter was chained between two soldiers, and the others stood as sentries at the door. 

Earlier Peter had been arrested together with other apostles.  That time the religious leaders put them in prison.  "But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out."  Acts 5:19.  Surely Peter would not get out of prison a second time. 

But he did.  An angel of the Lord came to Peter's rescue again. His chains fell off, and the angel and the apostle made their way past the guards.  When they arrived at the iron gate to the outside it just opened before them.  Peter couldn't believe his eyes.  He "did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision."  Acts 12:9.  This was an unbelievable prison-break.

When Peter realized that this was a reality, "he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John..., where many were gathered together praying."  Throughout Peter's incarceration "constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church." 

Peter knocked at the door, and a young girl named Rhoda answered.  Recognizing the apostle's voice, she excitedly ran inside the house and announced that Peter was at the gate.  "But they said to her, 'You are beside yourself!'"  In other words they called her crazy.  "Yet she kept insisting that is was so.  So they said, 'It is his angel.'" 

They had prayed for Peter, but did not believe that he would be delivered from the prison.  Only when they finally opened the door, after continual pounding by Peter, did they understand that he had been rescued.  "They were astonished."

Herod the king was also thoroughly bewildered.  How could anyone escape from the prison with its chains and guards and iron gates?  Herod searched everywhere for Peter, but couldn't find him.  Inside the prison there wasn't any place to hide.  He cross-examined the guards, but they didn't have an explanation, either.  In his frustration he commanded that the prison guards be executed.

It's important to remember that the Lord is God.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  Why should it be so unbelievable that He exceeds our expectations?


Heavenly Father, Your ways are past finding out.  Enlarge our vision and increase our faith that we might trust You more.  Teach us the reality of believing prayer.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


A Missionary Church - Acts 13


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
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