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Thursday: Herod’s Persecution — 7 Comments

  1. The untold story here is the faithfulness of John. On the one hand, his brother was put to the sword, killed by Herod. And, at the same time, Peter, his friend and fishing mate was miraculously saved. It must have been tough for John. He had to live the enigma of the non-miracle in the face of a miracle.

    We raised the issue of how important miracle are to our faith earlier this week. Now we have to face the significance of the non-miracle. Perhaps it is worth remembering that miracles are not performed on the merit of the receiver.

    Two things are apparent though:

    1. John survived and went on to significantly challenge us with the book of Revelation.
    2. The persecution at that particular time dispersed the early church so that the Gospel was preached (lived) in other parts of the country.

    Job's words had a real application here.

    Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Job 13:15

  2. Political leading tends to be contradictory to the Word of God
    Herod saw that it pleased the Jews to murdered James the brother of John.
    Pilate saw that it pleased the Jews to crucifed Christ.
    Herod because of his oaths and his dinner guests beheaded John.

    Peter did not realize his freedom
    The praying group did not realize answered prayer of the Lord.
    Herod the arrogant did not realize (acknowledge) God's intervention in delivering Peter from the prison.

    In the midst of the stormy water my God walks on top of the stormy water.
    He did not calm the water. He walks on top of it showing I can rise above any storms in your life.

  3. What challenges faced the early church? There is no period in which these challenges are not faced IF we are faithful in following Jesus in all things.
    Jesus taught that being righteous would bring persecution. Study the Beatitudes of Matt 5:3-12, and notice the principle at work in this fallen world where Satan rules. From Cain killing righteous Able until Jesus descends from heaven in glory to save His people, this principle will be at work. All that live Godly in Christ will suffer for righteousness sake. If there be no persecution, there is either no righteousness or no wicked to hate it.

    Do we have friends of this world who accept us while they live contrary to God's government? Perhaps we should examine ourselves closely, for in the Beatitudes, Jesus spoke the truth, and Satan never goes on holiday, but is like a roaring lion seeking it's prey.

    Concerning the lack or fulfilling of justice, no one will get off free for James' death. It just might be that justice is mercifully stayed to give the offender one more chance to repent, since "God so loved the world..." and desires that no one be lost. Also, as Jesus told Peter when he asked Jesus about John; "What is that to you? You follow Me". God will do the best thing in every case, and our only concern should be whether or not we "...follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth"(Rev 14:4).

  4. 🔴 Did you notice in today's lesson that under persecution the early church P.U.S.H - Prayed Until Something Happened...Don't let your prayer be a one-time event!

    🔵"Pray then; pray without ceasing.  The Lord who heard Daniel’s prayer, will hear yours if you will approach Him as Daniel did." 🙏🏽 (The Review and Herald, March 24, 1904.) Pr 90.2

  5. In regards to living by faith, regarding what we do not understand.. it always brings me back to the story of Joseph. There seems to be so many injustices along the way. In fact, if we were friends of Joseph, we would be sharing his injustice to everyone we knew. But we never see the big picture and it's a beautiful picture (my favourite bible story!) and it always reminds me that no matter what is going on, God has a plan.

    James' death could have raised a 100 more Christians, or could have affected one person that we would never hear about. We will never know until Jesus comes again. But there's a purpose.. there's a plan 🙂

  6. I do believe we can begain to understand God’s justice when we contemplate. John 21:22. Also the story of James and John expecting to have a place in Christ Kingdom as higher than the others. Mark 10:35-45.

  7. The story of God’s witness to Herod Agrippa amazes me. He would have known the part that his uncle played in the trial of Jesus the Christ, demanding a miracle for belief. He would have heard the witness of James, the brother of John, at his trial. He had his miracle: Peter’s miraculous deliverance from his hands.

    Yet he chose to play politics to his inglorious end, in spite of all he knew. Perhaps if the church had also earnestly prayed for his deliverance from evil, God could have done more: worked one more miracle and removed the Deceiver's veil from his sight. Just a thought. Matthew 5:44-48.


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