Sermons

Summary: After Peter’s release from prison, he began to seek the Saints, God’s people. When you turn people lose to go wherever they please you soon discover their character.

The reunion with the Saints.

Acts 12:12 -- 17. 04/28/04

We are finishing up our study about the life of Peter. This is the third study in acts chapter 12. We started by talking about the repression of the King. We saw how that king Herod had James killed and it pleased the ungodly Jews and Herod put Peter in the prison waiting till the religious festivities were over and have him killed also.

Then the last time we were looking in this chapter, we talked about the rescue by the angel. We talked about the miracles God performed in order to rescue Peter from the prison. We talked about how the church went into a prayer meeting praying for the rescue of Peter. So, we find the Saints were not handicapped because they had the power of prayer. God heard and Peter was rescued from the chains and prison.

Now tonight we want to look at the reunion with the Saints. We find this in verses 12 through 17.

The first point we want to discuss is THE SEEKING OF THE SAINTS. “And when he had considered the thing, {his deliverance}, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”

After Peter’s release from prison, he began to seek the Saints, God’s people. When you turn people lose to go wherever they please you soon discover their character. Peter loved the Lord and he loved God’s people, so, when he was given freedom he wanted to be in the midst of God’s people. The same thing happens with high school graduates when they go from home to college; they soon reveal their character by who they hang out with. It always pleases me to hear about young college students seeking other Christians to be friends with. It speaks volumes about the person when he has Liberty to go where he pleases to find where he goes.

We see not only the seeking of the Saints but also THE SURPRISING OF THE SAINTS. Look at verses 13 -- 17.

From what we read, it was a great surprise to the Saints when Peter showed up in the middle of the night. It seems the maid was so excited about Peter being at the door, she forgot to open it. As far as I know, this is the only fault we find with her. And compared to the faults of the others, this is pretty trivial.

But I want you to see something in this passage. Actually, the maid’s reaction to Peter’s arrival said several good things about her. First of all it was dark and it would have been difficult to recognize Peter but except his voice. You ask what is the significance of this? She recognized the man of God’s voice. You would be surprised at how many young people and older alike can recognize the voice of some ungodly rap star, or some ungodly single on radio but can never recognize the voice of any of the preachers in our land. That says something good about Rhoda, she recognized the man of God’s voice.

There is something else we can commend Rhoda and that is her steadfastness. When she told the group that Peter was at the gate, no one believed her. They even accused her of being mad, not angry, but crazy. But she did not waver in her conviction. She stood by her story and conviction even if it meant she would stand-alone.

What had the group than praying for? They were praying for the release of Peter. Now do you believe they were praying with sincere faith? They really did not have much hope that God would answer their prayer. But I wonder how often we pray and really down deep inside we don’t expect God to answer? Prayers not prayed in faith never do as well as those times we pray in faith. But God was gracious in delivering Peter even though their faith wasn’t very strong.

Now look! They were praying for the release of Peter, but it was easier for them to believe that an angel was standing at the gate, not Peter. But isn’t that the mind of the skeptic? They cannot accept the Bible to be true about God’s creation and yet they accept the junk that the universe came into being by some cosmic explosion some billions of years ago. The logical thing and the easiest to except is God created. Because of their skepticism, Peter had to keep knocking to get in. Had Peter not been a believer, would he have knocked the second time to get into the church? Be careful about skepticism, it will affect others.

We see finally THE SPEAKING TO THE SAINTS. The people of God were going through a time of great persecution and they needed some encouragement. Peter’s words were words of encouragement as he told the Saints all that God had done. Peter knew the power in a personal testimony of what God has done. Go and tell others what God has done.

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