24 May. Acts 12:1-19

24 May. Peter is arrested and hands over the leadership to James

"During that same time, King Herod [Agrippa I] began to mistreat some who belonged to the church. He ordered [the apostle] James, the brother of John [and the son of Zebedee] to be killed by the sword [beheaded on a charge of blasphemy]."

"Herod [Agrippa] saw that the Jewish people liked this, so he decided to arrest Peter too [on the same charge and with the same intention to kill him]…"

"After Herod arrested Peter, he put him in jail and handed him over to be guarded by sixteen soldiers. Herod planned to bring Peter before the people for trial after the Passover Feast. So Peter was kept in jail, but the church prayed earnestly to God for him."

"The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Other soldiers were guarding the door of the jail. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood there, and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter on the side and woke him up. 'Hurry! Get up!' the angel said. And the chains fell off Peter's hands."

"Then the angel told him, 'Get dressed and put on your sandals... Put on your coat and follow me.' So Peter followed him out, but he did not know if what the angel was doing was real... They went past the first and second guards and came to the iron gate that separated them from the city. The gate opened by itself for them, and they went through it. When they had walked down one street, the angel suddenly left him."

"Then Peter realised what had happened... He went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark [where the apostles met in the Upper Guest Room]… Peter knocked on the outside door, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it... Instead, she ran inside and told the group, 'Peter is at the door.' … Peter continued to knock, and when they opened the door, they saw him and were amazed..."

"Peter... explained how the Lord led him out of the jail, and he said, 'Tell James and the other believers what happened.' Then he left to go to another place [where he'd be safe]."

"The next day the soldiers were very upset and wondered what had happened to Peter. Herod [Agrippa] looked everywhere for him but could not find him. So he questioned the guards and ordered that they be killed."

          (Acts 12:1-19)

 

 

At the beginning of Acts Chapter 12, the narrative skips a few years to 44AD, fourteen years after Jesus's death and resurrection. Peter (who is regarded as a radical Jew for mixing with Gentiles) is arrested in Jerusalem during the Passover festival on the orders of King Herod Agrippa I, who has recently beheaded the apostle James, the brother of John, on a trumped-up charge of blasphemy (see Mark 1:19).

But Peter is miraculously freed from the prison during the night by an angel. He finds the believers – who are still meeting in the upstairs guest room at the home of John Mark in Jerusalem - and explains how he has been set free by an angel.

Peter then hands over the leadership of the Jerusalem church to the more traditional James (the brother of Jesus – see Galatians 1:19) and flees elsewhere for safety.

St Mark’s Church and Monastery, in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, is believed to mark the site of John Mark’s home, where Jesus's 'Last Supper' was celebrated with his twelve disciples (see Luke 22:7-13), and where the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-4).

The photo (by Utilisateur Djampa) shows the Syriac Orthodox Church of Saint Mark in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

You can read more about Peter's later ministry @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/peter-hands-over-the-lea…/.


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