The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent His angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.Acts 12:6-19
There is more that I could comment on related to the guard posts and the iron gate leading to the city and how far the angel walked with him but I will skip the detail. It does not add all that much to the thrust of the story Luke’s telling us. Once again I can’t comment on everything I find or I will never finish the book of Acts. So I will press on with the high points of the story. As I look back over the Gems I have written since the 9th of September 2009 I can see I have been getting more and more detailed. That is what the Word of God is like.
- John is covered by Gems 1 to Gems 130 (130 Gems) and took from 09/09/09 to 26/1/2010
- Romans is covered by Gems 131 to Gems 301 (171 Gems) and took 1/2/2010 to 7/8/2010
- 1 Corinthians is covered by Gems 302 to Gems 499 (198 Gems) and took from23/8/2010 to 10/3/2011
- 2 Corinthians is covered by Gems 500 to Gems 591 (92 Gems) and took from 19/3/2011 to 20/6/2011
- Ephesians is covered by Gems 592 to Gems 725 (134 Gems) and took 1/7/2011 to 1/12/2011
- Luke is covered by Gems 726 to Gems 1327 (602 Gems) and took 25/12/2011 to 30/6/2014
- Acts is so far covered by Gems 1328 to Gems 1598 (271 Gems) and has taken from 1/9/2014 until now.
You can see the change happened during the Gems of Luke when I went from sending Gems everyday except Sunday down to just three a week. Just like Peter came to his senses so too I came to my senses accompanied too by the pleas of some of you to have more time between the Gems so you could pay more attention to them. Also too the detail has increased as I worked my way through Luke. When I look back at what I wrote for John it makes me think I should go back and do John again, but I won’t.
I will be looking with at interest at where I am up to on September the 9th this year; exactly seven years after I started the Gems. Although, as we arrive in Indonesia on September 6th I am hoping that I will be able to be back to sending the Gems quickly, having wifi and internet connection working. We will see.
Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent His angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.Acts 12:11-12
These two verses represent two poles of consciousness for Peter.
The first mental state is described by the versions is as follows:
- Peter came to himself
- Peter came to his senses
- Peter now realized what had happened,
- That’s when Peter realized it was no dream.
The second mental state beginning in verse 12 is described as follows:
- When he realised [comprehended all the elements of the case] / [what had happened]
- When he had considered [the thing]
- Now aware [of his situation]
- He saw at a glance
- Still shaking his head, amazed
- Thinking [about it]
Up to the point of verse 11 Peter was still thinking that all of this was a vision or a dream. He had been simply just following the angel without thinking much. The angel was making all the decisions and Peter was simply following along behind. Suddenly the angel leaves and Peter is left to his own devices. Now Peter has to decide what to do. The angel has gone and so too has the decision maker. Now Peter has to fend for himself. That is enough to snap you out of mindless following and realise that you are now the one having to make the subsequent decisions. That happens at times. I have experienced that feeling a number of times when God’s guidance is so clear and then when the guidance ends I realise now I have to continue on the basis of what God has shown me or what God has done. That is the place where Peter has been left. He now had to pick up the pieces and decide for himself what he was going to do.
What is interesting to me as I have seen in this text for the first time, all of the second stage of Peter’s mental awareness is summed up in one Greek word – [suneido?] which means “to see in one view”, “to see the whole completely”, to be aware of the bigger picture. What is also interesting is that the Greek text leaves the object unexpressed, the object of the realisation has been left out. That is why a number of these translations have what was realised in square brackets. Many times God doesn’t spell out the next step for you but leaves you to work out the pieces and what you are supposed to do with what you know. As I tell people in Deeper Bible often, you have to now grapple with the text of what God has told you and work out the significance.
If you can dream it, you can do it.Walt Disney
Confidence is the feeling you have before you really understand the problem.Anon
Ecstasy is the feeling you feel when you feel you’re going to feel a feeling you’ve never felt before.Charlie Efford
God often teaches you by means of polar opposites so that you will have two wings to fly with and not one.Ian Vail
Love at first sight is nice, but it might be wise to take a second look.Ian Vail