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Acts 12:3-19 – Peter’s release from Herod

Like Jesus, Peter is seized at Passover. Like Jesus, a guard is placed to ensure that Peter remains enclosed in a cell. Luke writes the account in such a way that Peters experience emulates that of the Lord Jesus. Following Jesus means living a life that reflects the life of Jesus – as he is rejected by the world so is Peter.

But then an angel of the Lord shines with the glory and Peter is ‘raised’ from his sleep and realised from the confines of his cell of death. Again, there are echoes of the role of angels at Jesus’ resurrection along with the language of being ‘raised’.

Peter goes to the house of John Mark where the Church is praying for Peter’s release. The young servant girl, Rhoda, hears Peter’s voice as he knocks on the door. Overjoyed she recognises his voice but in the excitement forgets to open the door – she runs and announces Peter’s release but her words seem as nonsense to the disciples – again muck like the first witnesses were disbelieved, the women at the tomb.

One lesson from this passage is that disciples live gospel-shaped lives that look like Jesus’. Perhaps not in the actual circumstances in Peter’s case but certainly we live lives where the world rejects us and God works gloriously in our lives.

Although the Church was praying for Peter, it seems they expected his death as had occurred with James. We should thank the Lord that he hears and answers our prayers despite the imperfections of our praying.