Acts 12: Martyrdom, Rescue, and Vain Speeches

Re-posted from Pr. Flamme

(25 verses, 2:30 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • The Martyrdom of James, Peter’s Escape, and Herod’s Death


  • The Martyrdom of James and the Arrest of Peter (1-5)
  • An Angel of the Lord Springs Peter from Prison (6-11)
  • Peter’s Return (12-17)
  • Herod’s Frustration (18-19)
  • Herod’s Last Speech and the Return of Barnabas and Saul (20-25)


  • James, John’s brother and one of the sons of Zebedee, died for the sake of preaching the Gospel. Jesus once asked him and his brother, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink” (Mark 10:38). Indeed, James would drink from the bitter cup of death. But whereas Jesus drank cup of God’s wrath as he atoned for the sin of the world, James drank the cup of a blessed death. He died in faith knowing that he has a reconciled Father and the promise of everlasting life through Jesus’ resurrection. May the Lord grant us the same faith to suffer the grave with a joyful heart that rests in Jesus’ work.
  • Chains, guards, and locked doors mean nothing to the Lord. For the sake of the continued preaching of the Gospel, the Lord rescued Peter from Herod’s hand. Even though death may consume us individually, Jesus will not let his living Word, heard in the preaching of the Apostle’s that we have in Scripture, fade into silence. From one Apostle, therefore, we learn the good work of martyrdom. From the other, we are comforted with the Lord’s work to preserve his Christian Church.
  • There’s a contrast in this chapter between two words. One comes from the Lord and gives glory to God. This is the Gospel that Peter preaches. The other is a vain word that comes from men. This Herod’s speech. God’s Word results in life and cannot be extinguished. Herod’s word becomes nothing the moment he is struck down by the Lord.


  • Prayer: Grant me courage, heavenly Father, to suffer for the sake of your Word. Teach me from the example of the martyrs that we die in hope of the resurrection, and comfort me with the knowledge that your Gospel will never be overcome. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor A. Brian Flamme


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