Today’s chapter is full of emotion; sadness over the martyrdom of James, anger over Herod’s plan to have Peter killed after the Passover celebration, amazement over Peter’s escape from jail, and satisfaction over Herod’s fate in verses 22-23.
What struck me was feeling of amusement, verses 12-17 could have been a scene out of a sitcom. After Peter’s fantastic deliverance from jail, he went to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. A woman named Rhoda answered his knock in her excitement, she left Peter at the door, ran to inform the disciples he was there. As Peter continued to knock, the disciples tell Rhoda she out of her mind; other translations say she was mad. When they finally acknowledge someone may be at the door, they insisted it was not Peter.
This exchange is comical, but what I find most interesting is the fact that the disciples were gathered at Mary’s home to pray. Most likely the disciples were fervently praying for Peter’s fate. When God answered miraculously, they did not recognize it.
Being on the more practical side, I know I tend to rationalize, explain away something that is incredible. I remind myself that the God we serve is mighty, anything is possible. He created the world, parted the Red Sea, and caused the sun to stand still in the sky. He is also the God who created our fingerprints, who knows how many hairs are on our head and cares for the smallest of birds. When I ask Him for something, I should not doubt his ability to grant it. I often pray for sensitivity to recognize His activity, to respond like Rhoda with overwhelming joy and praise to an answered prayer.
Scripture says, What father among you, if his son asks for bread, would give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of the fish? (Luke11:11) We have a Father in heaven that sometimes delivers a whole bread truck when we asked for a loaf. Preparing for the miraculous should be the norm.