The humorous scene in the later part of Acts 12 is the focus of our posts this week. Peter, assisted by an angel, had been miraculously freed from the Cesarian prison. As he marvels at what God has just done, he heads for shelter at John Mark’s mother’s house. It must have been the middle of the night as he made his way through the darkened city. When he arrived, he knocked on the gate, perhaps keeping an eye out for anyone who might be approaching in the dark.
Upon hearing Peter’s knock, I imagine that the group inside, assembled to pray for Peter, froze as they recognized that someone was outside. Several of their friends, leaders of the early church, had already been killed by the Romans. They knew meeting together was risky, but how could they remain apart from each other as Peter sat in prison waiting for almost certain death?
I have to think that in addition to knocking, Peter called out to be let in. He would have been a fugitive at that point and vulnerable alone at night in the streets. Surely, as soon as the guards realized he was gone, they would begin to search everywhere for him. It would be Peter’s life or their own if he were not found.
Rhoda, on duty that night to serve the crowd that had gathered, was sent out to see who was at the gate. As she drew closer, she recognized Peter’s voice. In her excitement, she ran back inside to share the good news with the others, leaving Peter still knocking. This news was too good to keep to herself, even for a moment! She also knew they feared who might be at the gate and wanted to sound the “all clear” as soon as possible.
An argument ensued. The crowd was certain this young servant girl was mistaken. But she was adamant! They pressed past her to go to the gate themselves, and to their surprise, their friend, the object of their prayers that very night was waiting on them! The crowd gasped. Could it be? Were their eyes deceiving them? Then they exploded with joy, welcoming Peter and praising God! Mindful of his situation, Peter quieted them and related the whole story to the group.
Rhoda, the least among them, was the one that was ready to believe. She knew what she had heard, and that was enough to convince her. She wouldn’t be swayed by the jaded predictions of the others. Her courage to hold to her conviction is admirable. Likewise, it is sometimes difficult for us to convince others of the revelation that only we have received. Sometimes in order to believe, people must see for themselves. We can only explain the truth so many times before repetition becomes futile. Those that want to know, will run out to the gate themselves and see who it is that knocks in the middle of the night.
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Your Turn: Have you ever tried to explain the truth to someone else all to no avail? Or have you ever had to run to the gate to see for yourself? We would love you to share in Leave a Reply below. ~ Joni