Special Sub-Topic: Peter's Miraculous Escape from Prison
|Before Peter was seized and put in prison, Herod had one of the original 12 disciples put to death with the sword. According to Acts 12:2, who was the disciple he had executed?|
James. The correct answer is James, the brother of John and the son of Zebedee. Notes in the NIV Study Bible state James was put to death about 10 years after Jesus' death and resurrection. NIV notes also state the term 'put to death with the sword' means to be beheaded, the same fate as that of John the Baptist. In Matthew 20:23, Jesus warned his disciples of their coming suffering, the notes also state.
|According to Acts 12:4 (NIV), how many soldiers were assigned by Herod to guard Peter in prison?|
Four squads of four soldiers each.. It's abundantly apparent Herod wasn't taking any chances and was doing everything possible to prevent an escape by Peter. According to notes in the NIV Study Bible, four squads of four soldiers would result in one company of four soldiers for each of the four watches of the night.
|Herod intended to have a public trial for Peter after what event? (Acts 12:4)|
Passover. The correct answer is the Passover, a Jewish celebration which goes back to the Book of Leviticus. Leviticus 23:5-8, in the NIV Bible, states: "'The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present an offering made to the LORD by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.'" The holiday is a tribute to the freedom gained by the Israelites in ancient Egypt when they served as slaves.
|The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Then, according to Acts 12:7, what happened?|
An angel of the Lord appeared.. The correct answer is an angel of the Lord appeared. Acts 12:6-7, in the NIV Bible, states: "The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. 'Quick, get up!' he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists." Peter was then guided out of the prison by the angel.
|When Peter made his escape from prison, he headed to the house of a friend. Where did he go? (Acts 12:12)|
The house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark.. The correct answer is the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark. Verse 12 states "many people" had gathered at the house and were praying for Peter's release. Notes in the NIV Study Bible state Mary was the aunt of Barnabas. "Apparently her home was a gathering place for Christians," the notes state. "It may have been the location of the upper room where the Last Supper was held... and the place of prayer in Acts 4:31."
|What happened when Peter knocked on the door of his friend and a servant girl went to answer it? |
The servant girl recognized Peter's voice at the door but was basically too excited to open it.. I find this highly entertaining Scripture, something you would expect to see in a Hollywood movie. Peter had just escaped from prison, as well as his likely execution, and he was left standing outside while the servant girl failed to immediately open the door. Scripture states she was overjoyed when she heard Peter's voice and ran back, telling the other occupants Peter was at the door. Scripture states that while the servant girl was exclaiming to the other people who was at the door, Peter "kept on knocking".
|What was the name of the servant girl who went to the door when Peter knocked?|
Rhoda. The correct name is Rhoda. According to various Web sites devoted to baby names, Rhoda means Rose. (As an aside, the name Rhoda brings back fond memories of the TV program "Rhoda", starring Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morganstern. The show was a successful spin-off from the "Mary Tyler Moore Show".)
|When the occupants of the house were told by the servant girl Peter was at the door, what was their reaction?|
They thought she was crazy. Some said perhaps it was his angel at the door.. They simply didn't believe the servant girl. They thought her claim was craziness and some thought it was Peter's angel at the door. Acts 12:15-16, in the NIV Bible, states: "'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."
|After Peter told the believers about his miraculous escape from prison, what did he do?|
Headed to another place.. Obviously, Peter wanted to head to a place where Herod's men would not think of looking for him. Scripture, however, does not state where he headed to, just he went elsewhere. Acts 12: 17, in the NIV Bible, states: "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 brothers about this,' he said, and then he left for another place." Notes in the NIV Study Bible state Peter was referring to the brother of Jesus when he told them to "tell James." (As stated in the answer to Question 1, James, the disciple, had been executed by Herod.)
|What did Herod do when he learned Peter had escaped?|
He ordered that all the jail guards be excecuted.. Herod was livid. In his mind, he had been duped by Peter, "a dumb fisherman," and he reacted by ordering all the guards executed. Incidentally, other verses in the 12th chapter of Acts tell of Herod's death. Acts 12: 23, in the NIV Bible, states "an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died."
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