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God’s Word for You

Acts 12:11-12 Little connections

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

11 Then Peter came to himself. He said, “Now I know that the Lord truly sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s power and from everything the Jewish people were planning.” 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people were gathered and were praying.

 

As soon as the angel disappeared (verse 10), Peter understood that what had happened to him was in fact real. He was standing, we think, on the northwestern corner of the temple complex, not far from the gates that are there in the rebuilt Muslim precinct today (either Bab el-Atm or Bab al-Ghawanima). It was still late at night. In verse 18, we will be told that the guards discovered his absence “as soon as it was day,” so the angel must have awakened him during the previous watch, that is to say, sometime between midnight and 6:00 am, and probably early in that watch. The idea of a “watch” is that those who are posted will watch and not sleep, but a guard posted by a locked door at two in the morning would probably be inclined to doze if he could.

Yet Peter was out! One door, two doors, three doors—and even with no angel, he was still outside the prison, free to go wherever he wanted. Free from Herod’s plot and free from the bile of the nation Peter himself now thinks of as “the Jewish nation” (no longer his nation!), he went into the city to the home of a woman who had been a supporter of Jesus and his apostles for a long time: Mary, the mother of John Mark. Was this perhaps the same house where Jesus met with his disciples in the upper room?

Her son was the Mark whom we are pretty sure was the author of the Gospel of Mark. We also suspect he was the young man in the Gospel described this way: “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind” (Mark 14:51-52). Since only Mark’s Gospel relates that incident, and since there is very little need for it to be mentioned, it is usually considered to be autobiographical. Such little connections with the Savior are to be found scattered here and there in the Bible. Another of these might be the mention of Rufus, the son of Simon of Cyrene who helped carry Jesus’ cross. Paul greets a man named Rufus in Romans 16:13, which could be a little connection between that congregation and Jesus Christ.

Most of us don’t have such connections with the Lord. We have met him only by faith, only through his word. To us, our Bibles are the holy places we visit, not ancient shrines with worn steps, but a permanent shrine with worn pages, with the sweat of our own fingers staining the edges, testimony of our daily pilgrimages to our Savior’s feet as we read, listen, repent, and are refreshed.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

 

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