Thursday, April 26, 2012
This morning we read about Peter’s miraculous escape from prison. Herod was glad the Jews were happy that he had killed James. He had Peter in prison so he could kill him after Passover.
It was night and Peter was sleeping when an angel came and released him from his chains. They walked out past all the guards and through the iron gate. They walked to the end of a street and the angel left him there. Then Peter realized that he was not having a vision. He was really free.
He headed straight to a home where other believers had gathered to pray for him.
A servant named Rhoda responded to his knocking, but when she heard his voice she was so excited she ran to tell the others without opening the door.
They thought she was crazy. But she persisted, so they thought it must be an angel she had heard. Peter also persisted knocking, and they finally opened the door. Peter instructed them to share with other believers how God had set him free. He then went on to another place.
The theme of the devotion was “Too Good to Be True” and it was an overly simplistic, rather lame admonition to believe that you will get what you pray for, even if what you ask for seems too good to be true… The more I think about it, the more it annoys me… It’s not just lame, it’s wrong in what it leaves out and sets kids up to doubt God because He doesn’t, and shouldn’t, give us everything we WANT… How can I trust God?!? I prayed and prayed for a 3DS, and I didn’t get one!!
Too good to be true… Isn’t that a common response to the Gospel? Even for those of us who have accepted it, we often live as if Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough and we need to in some way earn our salvation.
Peter’s fellow believers struggled to believe what seemed impossible, it seemed “too good to be true,” but they couldn’t argue with the evidence.
Herod’s response was not at all like the joy of the believers. Peter’s disappearance from prison was not good news to him. When Peter couldn’t be found, and no guard could tell Herod anything, Herod blamed them. He had them all killed.
As forgiven children of the King, we appreciate the Gospel. For us, it’s the ultimate good news! When we really believe it, we want to share it, though not everyone will want to hear it. Hearing Jesus proclaimed as “the way and the truth and the life” doesn’t sound good to many. But that doesn’t mean we should stop sharing the Gospel. It should, however, remind us to do so lovingly, humbly, and prayerfully. Some might think we’re crazy, but we, like Rhoda, can know the joy of truth even if they laugh at us.