Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Off With His Head

  • Around this time, King Herod decides to stir up a little trouble for the Christians. Typical.
  • He has one of the disciples, James, beheaded. Ouch.
  • Then he arrests Peter. Oh, this is not looking good. All the followers of Jesus are praying for Peter in prison (he needs it).

Angels Really Know How to Pick Locks

  • Their prayers are answered in the form of an angel of the Lord who appears and releases Peter from his chains.
  • At first, Peter thinks he's having another vision (or just hallucinating), but when the angel leads him outside the gates of the city, he knows it's for real.
  • He rushes over to Mary's house (she's John's mother) and knocks on the door. The maid, Rhoda, answers and recognizes Peter right away.
  • But she's so excited that she forgets to let him in and just runs to tell everyone he's back. Comic relief!
  • They all think she's nuts or worse, that Peter's dead and she's just seen his angel.
  • Eventually, everyone opens the door and sees Peter and starts freaking out. Peter's out of prison! Time to celebrate! Woo-hoo!

Herod Gets His

  • The next morning, the soldiers and Herod are pretty confused about what happened to their prisoner. They had chained him up so nicely!
  • Since Herod's a jerk, he questions the prison guards and then has them put to death. What a meanie.
  • Later, Herod is sitting in front of his subjects and they start chanting about how he is a god, not just a mere man.
  • Now it's God's turn to be angry because Herod isn't giving him his props. An angel of God strikes him down and Herod is eaten by worms and dies. Graphic and terrible, yet fitting.
  • Even though King Herod's dead, the church lives on and gains even more new members. Take that, ghost of Herod.
  • Meanwhile, Barnabas and Saul head back to Jerusalem with their new pal, John Mark.

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