Acts 12:1–19 (NKJV)
1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.Acts 12:1-11
11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
Peter, once again, was persecuted. This time, however, it was from the secular government, Herod to be exact, that Peter received his trouble. They arrested him, put him in jail, and bound him with chains. The church prayed continuously and God sent an angel to deliver him. His chains fell off, the doors opened, and the angel led him out. This was all so confusing to Peter, but he accepted the miracle and followed the angel all the way out of the jail and away from it. Peter finally realized that this was a true event, and praised the Lord.
12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”Acts 12:12-19
16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.
18 Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19 But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death.
And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.
He decided to go to the house where the rest of the disciples were gathered to pray, and knocked at the door. A girl, Rhoda, came to the door, recognized Peter, and went to the group to gain permission to let him in the house. They finally relented from their unbelief and let Peter in. He rejoiced with them at the release and then gave instructions for them to tell others about the miracle. When the soldiers noticed that Peter was gone the next morning, they searched everywhere but could not find him. Herod was so frustrated by his escape that he had the guards killed, and Peter moved to Caesarea for a time.
This miracle shows us a few things. First, Peter’s example shows us how to handle adversity and danger with calm assurance in God’s plan for each individual. He was cool under pressure, and God brought him through. Second, it shows the power of prayer. The church prayed for Peter, even though they did not believe he was delivered when he showed up at their door. Finally, we see that Satan’s kingdom and the church’s opposition is riled up by the miracles of God. Yet, that is no reason to stop celebrating the goodness of God. He is worthy, no matter whose ire is raised. Praise the Lord!