Day 35~ Acts 10-12

Every time I read Acts 12, I am startled by the quick sentence, “He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.” (12:2)  One little line in reference to one of the chosen twelve. And it was James of all people!! 😟He was one of the ‘inner circle’, one that Jesus took with him for those big moments.  For example, it was Peter, James and John who was with Jesus when he raised the little girl from the dead (Mark 5:37) and when Jesus was transfigured on the high mountain (Matt 17:1-13).
So, I am left thinking, wow, there wasn’t much in the way of mourning mentioned at the loss of this first elder of the church. 😒
It leads me to think that this sudden execution took all the believers by surprise.  Remember we just read, that after Paul’s conversion, “the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace” (9:31).  These surprised believers didn’t have much time to do anything for James, but now however, they were startled to action for Peter!  “The church was earnestly praying to God for him (Peter)” (12:5).

I have to say, I feel sad for John’s loss when I read this.  After all, James was his big brother.  They worked side-by-side their whole lives, first as fishermen with their dad, Zeb, and then in the work of the Gospel.  I’m sure John thought back to the time he and his brother had asked Jesus to sit on his right and left side when He came into his kingdom.  Jesus replied, “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?….You will indeed drink from my cup.” (Matt.20:23). πŸ˜¬
And now the time arrived….Jesus’ prophetic word had come to pass…

There is so much to glean from this story!!
1.) Persecution can come at any time, don’t be surprised!
2.) Pray for fellow believers. God hears the prayers of a righteous man. (James 5:6)
3.) Take a moment to thank God for our Christian forefathers who were so faithful in obeying Jesus by fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20)  Because of their work, we have gotten to hear the Good News! 
4.) John knew that like his brother, he would have to “drink from the cup”, yet he didn’t turn and run when he saw the reality of it.  He remained faithful to the Lord.  No matter what kind of grief we bare in our life (i.e. loss of a loved one) we, like John, need to remain faithful. (1 Tim. 6:12)

5.) Trust in the words of Jesus.  They will all come to pass!!!! (Rev. 22:12-13)


Rapster J said…
Yes, I noticed that, too, and it makes sense it took them by surprise, otherwise, I'm sure they would have prayed for him as much as they prayed for Peter.
Can you imagine the spiritual warfare going on during that scene?! Like we mentioned yesterday, another scene was playing out that isn't written about. Imagine how the demons must have been rejoicing at their quick victory, but once the saints started praying they were crippled and unable to do more!!

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