When Peter was in prison awaiting his execution that was to take place the next day, we read in Acts 12 that the church conducted an all-night prayer service for him. God responded, sending an angel to release him from his imprisonment. When Peter showed up at the door of the house where the prayer meeting was taking place and knocked to come in, the servant girl Rhoda was so astonished at his appearance that she left him there and ran to tell the others. In a rather ironic moment in redemptive history, we are told the very people praying for Peter’s release denied it could be him. “You’re out of your mind,” they told her (Acts 12:15).
In reading this, we might be tempted to shake our head at their unbelief. Yet we ought to do so humbly rather than condescendingly if we do. For what they said next is especially fascinating. “When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.’” That the early church would rather think it was an angel at the door than Peter himself shows an acute awareness of the spiritual realm that they had which we moderns often lack. Then, notice the […]