We last ended with Peter’s miraculous escape from prison. To give a brief synopsis, Peter was was forced into prison in awaiting trial by King Herod, He was bound in chains…and God intervened and helped him to escape. Once Peter was out of the prison standing alone on the street he came to his senses that he was no longer bound.
When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. (Acts 12:12)
I love this part of this next scripture, because it starts with, “When THIS had dawned on him.”
WHAT was it that dawned on him?…He realized he was FREE. And what does scripture say he did after the realization…He went to tell people about it.
And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11)
What if Peter did not go back home and tell what the Lord had done for him? What if after he was standing there in the street that he went into hiding? What if he went and lived a life away from all he loved because he was afraid to be captured again?
We sometimes live like this, and we know people who live like this.
This is what it is to not believe that we have been set free.
“If the Son sets you free then you are free indeed.” (John 8:36)
I believe it is safe to say that most of us grow up with the “spiritual” mentality that we will always “struggle,” with this or that sin. But what if I told you that what scripture says “free indeed,” means that we are free of all sins? Do you think that is true?
One of my favorite scriptures is,
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “ He makes ALL THINGS beautiful in its time.”
We have to get in the mindset that we are “FREE,” is ALL THINGS, because Jesus died on the cross so that we would be. But once we are free, then we learn how to stop doing things in the same way that put us in that place of bondage before. And we have to be gentle on ourselves and know He began a good work, and it is HE that will finish it!
While the picture is in drawing, and the house in building, we see not the beauty of either; but when the artist has put his last hand to them, and given them their finishing strokes, then all appears very good
(Matthew Henry Commentary on Ecclesiastes 3:11)
It could be that Peter might have been a little afraid of being captured again, I mean he was human, but he also knew that he could find accountability back at Mary’s house, regardless of the state he was in.
And what do we know about what was happening before he knocked on the door…his friends were praying for him.
We need our friends, we need people that our there for us, that open our homes to us, that are there to lean on when we need it, and we need the truth spoken to us in love.
13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” (Acts 12:13-14)
I love this, because the servant was the one to come to the door, and she did not open the door. Because again it paints a picture to how we react when someone we know comes, “ clean,” so to speak. We are excited to see them, but we don’t open the door right away.
“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel. ”But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place. (Acts 12:16-17)
I also love how he kept knocking too. People that who are set free to know they are free they have something, “ different,” about them. One thing is they do not carry “shame, or guilt,” they do not “ hide or avoid others.” If they are truly free they will be knocking down the doors of the church to share what God has done or in this day tweeting or posting on Facebook.
Peter knew that there was a greater purpose in him being set free, and it so moved him that he left what was familiar to begin to preach what God had done from place to place.
We have a responsibility to be an example to this world around us. Where there is favor like Peter being freed from prison there is always also opposition.
“ God will open doors which no man can shut.” And He will do it.
Life can get very real. Crazy things can happen around us, but we are the only ones that can hold ourselves back. Live like your free, because you are.