Bible: Acts 11:1-12:25

Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 1  the word of God. 2  11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 3  the circumcised believers 4  took issue with 5  him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 6  uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 7  them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 8  saying, 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 9  an object something like a large sheet descending, 10  being let down from heaven 11  by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 12  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 13  and wild birds. 14  11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 15  and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 16  has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 17  ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 18  three men sent to me from Caesarea 19  approached 20  the house where we were staying. 21  11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 22  also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 23  to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 24  them just as he did 25  on us at the beginning. 26  11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 27  as he used to say, 28 John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 29  11:17 Therefore if God 30  gave them the same gift 31  as he also gave us after believing 32  in the Lord Jesus Christ, 33  who was I to hinder 34  God? 11:18 When they heard this, 35  they ceased their objections 36  and praised 37  God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 38  that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 39 

Activity in the Church at Antioch

11:19 Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen 40  went as far as 41  Phoenicia, 42  Cyprus, 43  and Antioch, 44  speaking the message 45  to no one but Jews. 11:20 But there were some men from Cyprus 46  and Cyrene 47  among them who came 48  to Antioch 49  and began to speak to the Greeks 50  too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. 11:21 The 51  hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed 52  turned 53  to the Lord. 11:22 A report 54  about them came to the attention 55  of the church in Jerusalem, 56  and they sent Barnabas 57  to Antioch. 58  11:23 When 59  he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain true 60  to the Lord with devoted hearts, 61  11:24 because he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and a significant number of people 62  were brought to the Lord. 11:25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. 63  So 64  for a whole year Barnabas and Saul 65  met with the church and taught a significant number of people. 66  Now it was in Antioch 67  that the disciples were first called Christians. 68 

Famine Relief for Judea

11:27 At that time 69  some 70  prophets 71  came down 72  from Jerusalem 73  to Antioch. 74  11:28 One of them, named Agabus, got up 75  and predicted 76  by the Spirit that a severe 77  famine 78  was about to come over the whole inhabited world. 79  (This 80  took place during the reign of Claudius.) 81  11:29 So the disciples, each in accordance with his financial ability, 82  decided 83  to send relief 84  to the brothers living in Judea. 11:30 They did so, 85  sending their financial aid 86  to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

James is Killed and Peter Imprisoned

12:1 About that time King Herod 87  laid hands on 88  some from the church to harm them. 89  12:2 He had James, the brother of John, executed with a sword. 90  12:3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, 91  he proceeded to arrest Peter too. (This took place during the feast of Unleavened Bread.) 92  12:4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, handing him over to four squads 93  of soldiers to guard him. Herod 94  planned 95  to bring him out for public trial 96  after the Passover. 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but those in the church were earnestly 97  praying to God for him. 98  12:6 On that very night before Herod was going to bring him out for trial, 99  Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while 100  guards in front of the door were keeping watch 101  over the prison. 12:7 Suddenly 102  an angel of the Lord 103  appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. He struck 104  Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off Peter’s 105  wrists. 106  12:8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt 107  and put on your sandals.” Peter 108  did so. Then the angel 109  said to him, “Put on your cloak 110  and follow me.” 12:9 Peter 111  went out 112  and followed him; 113  he did not realize that what was happening through the angel was real, 114  but thought he was seeing a vision. 12:10 After they had passed the first and second guards, 115  they came to the iron 116  gate leading into the city. It 117  opened for them by itself, 118  and they went outside and walked down one narrow street, 119  when at once the angel left him. 12:11 When 120  Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued 121  me from the hand 122  of Herod 123  and from everything the Jewish people 124  were expecting to happen.”

12:12 When Peter 125  realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, 126  where many people had gathered together and were praying. 12:13 When he knocked at the door of the outer gate, a slave girl named Rhoda answered. 127  12:14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she did not open the gate, but ran back in and told 128  them 129  that Peter was standing at the gate. 12:15 But they said to her, “You’ve lost your mind!” 130  But she kept insisting that it was Peter, 131  and they kept saying, 132 It is his angel! 133  12:16 Now Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door 134  and saw him, they were greatly astonished. 135  12:17 He motioned to them 136  with his hand to be quiet and then related 137  how the Lord had brought 138  him out of the prison. He said, “Tell James and the brothers these things,” and then he left and went to another place. 139 

12:18 At daybreak 140  there was great consternation 141  among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 12:19 When Herod 142  had searched 143  for him and did not find him, he questioned 144  the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution. 145  Then 146  Herod 147  went down from Judea to Caesarea 148  and stayed there.

12:20 Now Herod 149  was having an angry quarrel 150  with the people of Tyre 151  and Sidon. 152  So they joined together 153  and presented themselves before him. And after convincing 154  Blastus, the king’s personal assistant, 155  to help them, 156  they asked for peace, 157  because their country’s food supply was provided by the king’s country. 12:21 On a day determined in advance, Herod 158  put on his royal robes, 159  sat down on the judgment seat, 160  and made a speech 161  to them. 12:22 But the crowd 162  began to shout, 163 The voice of a god, 164  and not of a man! 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord 165  struck 166  Herod 167  down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died. 168  12:24 But the word of God 169  kept on increasing 170  and multiplying.

12:25 So Barnabas and Saul returned to 171  Jerusalem 172  when they had completed 173  their mission, 174  bringing along with them John Mark. 175 

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