Peter reports to the believers in Judea about God saving Gentiles. Jesus is preached in Antioch, many are saved. Barnabas is sent to encourage new converts. Barnabas returns with Saul to teach Christians in Antioch. Agabus prophesies about a great famine, leading Gentile believers to offer assistance through Barnabas and Saul to Christians in Judea.
grandson of Herod the Great who ordered the Bethlehem children to be murdered
nephew of Herod Antipas, who had John the Baptist beheaded.
Persecuted Jews, hated by them (as were the other Herods)
Persecuted the church to appease traditional Jews
James (brother of John) – first apostle to be martyred.
Herod arrested Peter (at start of Passover) to gain more favour with Jews. Four quaternions of soldiers (16 total – 4 for each watch – Two guarding outside, two chained to prisoner).
The church was praying for Peter. (v5)
Pray for those who are in prison for Christ and “spiritually” imprisoned.
Peter sleeps. (v6)
James had just been killed. Peter was chained to two soldiers and awaiting execution. How could Peter sleep?
Prayer of the church, promises of God and the prophecy by Christ = peace for Peter!
God directs His angels to care for us.
God’s servant (angel) vs the enemy. (v7)
Peter obeys. (v8)
God delivered Peter, just as He delivered the Jews from slavery in Egypt. (v8)
James died. Peter lived. Why?
Believers praying together. (v12)
Rhoda’s excitement met with unbelief. (v13-15)
Peter declares. (v17)
Herod didn’t have to follow the Roman law but executed the soldiers anyway. (v18-19)
Officials of Tyre and Sidon befriend (bribe) Blastus to seek audience with Herod. (v20)
People praise Herod as a god but Herod doesn’t glorify God, gets struck down by an angel, dies a horrific death! (v21-23)
It’s easy to spot someone false because they blatantly take all the credit OR clothe themselves in false humility (lip service) without truly glorifying God!
Christians don’t need to know people in high places because the LORD Most High is our God!
Herod started out on top but in the end, he ended up six feet under. God is unstoppable! God’s Word will not return void! Church grew! (v24)