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Chapter 12:Herod Moves Against Peter As if the coming famine were not enough, Herod decides the time has come to move against the Apostles.  He chooses the most visible target, Peter, symbol of the new church in Jerusalem. But first Herod goes after another of the Twelve, James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John.  James becomes the first martyr among the Twelve.

1. Read chapter 12, verses 1-5. How is James executed? (Kings did not stoop to stoning.) What impact does this have on Jewish public opinion?

2. Clearly emboldened by the response, Herod goes after Peter. What is his intention towards Peter? Do you note when this sentence is scheduled to be carried out?

3. Do you think Herod is worried about the reaction by Peter’s followers? How do you know?

4. What does the church do? When does Luke tell us their prayers were answered?  Why do you think God waited until that point?

5. Read verses 6-11.  Who visits Peter in prison on the night before his execution? What is Peter doing when the visitor arrives? What is the first “miracle” that happens?

6. What does the messenger tell Peter to do next? What is Peter’s condition? What does Peter think is happening? When does Peter realize that he has been released from Herod’s prison?

7. As you think of this story to this point, what impressions do you have? Are there perhaps some lessons we can learn?

8. Have you ever been caught in circumstances beyond your control, but God intervened the change the situation?



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