Peter was chained in his jail cell with sixteen guards watching him. King Herod must have had a premonition that Peter needed all those men to keep him in jail. I mean, two sets of chains would be enough to hold most people, don’t you think?
Meanwhile, Peter’s friends were all gathered in one place, praying for him. I’m guessing that they were praying for his release from prison. I don’t think they were praying for a new car for him. But that’s just my opinion.
An angel showed up in Peter’s jail cell, bringing light with him. He poked Peter in the side and told him, “Get up!” The chains fell off of Peter. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and follow me.” Peter, who is famous for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, doesn’t say a word, but follows the angel. I wouldn’t argue with the angel either; get me out of here!
Peter didn’t know that the angel was real yet; he thought he was seeing a vision. The angel led Peter past some more guards at their posts, and came to the iron gate of the city, which opened by itself, and they went out, and went down one street. Then the angel disappeared.
Peter realized at this point that this was real, he wasn’t dreaming. He went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, were Peter’s friends were gathered praying for him. He knocks on the door — the answer to their prayers — but they don’t believe it’s him. Ha. I do that sometimes, I can’t believe I got the answer I was praying for! Peter finally convinces his friends that yes, it is he, and then he decides to go to another place to hide. Herod’s boys are going to be in hot pursuit any minute. They don’t find Peter, and Herod orders that the guards that were watching Peter be killed.
That’s the first part of Acts Chapter 12. The miraculous jailbreak. It’s one of my favorite stories. I also like the next part.
The people of Tyre and Sidon made peace with Herod because Herod’s country supplied their food. The one day Herod dressed up in his fine kingly clothes and gave a big speech. The people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”
Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.
Where did the worms come from? A sudden burst of worms like locusts?
So Peter gets out of jail free. And Herod gets eaten by worms.
It all depends on who your trust is in: Yourself or Jesus?