In these two chapters we see a couple of interesting things. Remember back in chapter 9 Paul is visited by God and he is now to take the message of deliverance and salvation to the gentiles. In chapter 10 we see Peters Vision – Peter is also called to take the message to the gentiles. We again see the calling of Peter in Chapter 11. I love how Barnabas the son of encouragement was sent to Saul/Paul. He spent a year with Paul/Saul serving together in ministry. Saul would have needed great encouragement in those first years of ministry. Can you imagine the trials, struggles and fear that would have faced him; he a former executioner now a preacher of the good news! I can’t help but wonder if Paul/Saul recognized God’s hand in sending Barnabas to him in those early years, or did he just see it as a normal course of doing ministry? Much like me I can’t help but wonder if I too often miss what God is doing in my life.
In chapter 12 – James the brother of John is put to death and Peter is arrested. I am once again reminded of the high price that was paid for following Jesus and how privileged I am to have the freedoms I so take for granted. And because I take them for granted, I so often do not carry out or act upon directions given by the Holy Spirit as I should. This makes me sad. I am sure it makes God sad as well.
Acts 12 also reminds me of my lack of faith in prayer. So often, just like the people who were praying for Peter’s release, I am amazed by God’s answers to my prayers. How silly really that is when you think about it. But alas, it is how I am. And it would appear I am not so all alone.