A Girl Named Rhoda

Acts 12:4-12 Peter in Prison

Acts 12:13-18 Rhoda

Acts 12:19 Edomite King Herod Agrippa
ACTS 12:13-14  13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.

Why did Rhoda not open the gate?
"Because of her gladness" (Acts 12:14), not because those inside had told Rhoda to come and fetch them instead of opening the gate by herself for anyone.

ACTS 12:15  15 But they said to her, “You are out of your mind!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

What errors did those inside the house make?
An "angel" (Acts 12:15) would go right through a gate, not knock on it to ask humans to let him inside. They also insulted Rhoda, who most likely was a servant girl. But the most serious error - sin - was their unbelief. They undoubted had been praying fervently for the Lord to save Peter. When Rhoda "announced that Peter stood before the gate" (Acts 12:14), the faithful reaction would have been jubilation that the Lord has answered their prayer.

ACTS 12:16-18  16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place. 18 Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.

What do you call Acts 12:18?
An understatement (see Peter in Prison).

What did the Lord opening the eyes of the "soldiers" to His miracle the next "day" (Acts 12:18) achieve?
Delay Herod's manhunt until Peter had safely reached the "another place" (Acts 12:17).

What must have been the demeanor of those in the house when they were "praying" (Acts 12:12), and when they saw Peter?
James already had been murdered, and since "Herod was about to bring [Peter] out" (Acts 12:6) to kill him as well, they most likely had been praying their hearts out. The Lord doesn't always let us see His answers to our prayers so readily. When He does, it's can be quite spectacular, as it must have been on this occasion. Yet the Bible without fanfare simply states matter-of-factly that they were "astonished" (Acts 12:16).

Who is the "James" (Acts 12:17) Peter told them to inform?
This obviously wasn't the James who already had been killed by Herod. This James was the half-brother of Jesus (see Jesus' brothers) who had come to believe in Him after His resurrection and who had since become one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem.

Why did God save Peter but let the other James get murdered?
For those who truly believe heaven exists, the question is re-phrased, "Why did God promote James to heaven before Peter?" Every God-ordained Christian martyrdom is a fast-track promotion to heaven.

Should true Christians fear death?