When people are in trouble, some people try to overcome such an environment through recalling an image. Some people recall the warmth of their mother, some people recall the room and bedding of their room, some people see a coupling with a lover, and some people recall the image of a pet raised at home. It will be an act of people trying to maintain the peace in mind.
The painter Vincent Gogh is known to have recalled an image in his mind when something difficult happened. It was an image of Jesus drawn by a painter named Delacroix. It's a picture on the bulletin. The title of the picture is 'Christ on Lake Gennesaret (1853)'.
Let’s see the picture drawn by Delacroix.
The picture depicts Jesus and his disciples in a storm. Luke 8 is the background of this picture. When you look at the picture, the sky looks very dark and strong windy. And the disciples were terrified to fight the waves, and had a tired face. In this environment, Jesus was resting comfortably as you see in the picture. It is said that the author tried to express that Jesus, who was responsible for the salvation of mankind, was peaceful. This is the image Vincent Gogh wanted to see in the painting, and the image he wanted to be made in his life.
How was your life for a week? If your life is like a picture, I hope that the image of the Lord, who was in peace in the storm, will be your peace. Amen!
The resurrected Jesus met his disciples. What Jesus said to His disciples at that time is found in John 20.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!". (John 20:19)
Thinking about the state of mind of disciples who were afraid of people, you can understand the word of the Lord. It is also the peace that the Lord want to give to those who are in the storm of life for a few days. To the disciples trembling in front of the fear of death, the Lord wanted to give peace. It is also the peace that our Lord wants to give his disciples, us.
'Peace be with you!'
Let’s recall an image of the Lord sleeping in peace when you are in trouble. I pray that God bless you in the name of the Jesus, our Lord. Amen!
Jesus showed up His disciples after He was resurrected and showed His hands and side to them. Then there was the word that Jesus gave to His disciples. It is also peace.
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." (John 20:21).
Now, this is the prayer and blessing that the Lord gave to the hearts of the disciples who were trembling in the fear of death, and now send them to a world. The Lord wanted to give peace to the disciples who sent into the world like an image shown in the bulletin. The content of the Acts described how Jesus’ prayers and blessings are accomplished. Just as the Lord blessed his disciples. We can find that there was peace in the life of Jesus' disciples. We can the scene in today’s passage.
As I read the text of today, I imagined Peter in prison. And the actions he showed were impressive. After James, the leader of the Church, was executed, Peter was captured. This means that Peter could be in the same position as James. If he wakes up tomorrow morning, he would die like James. What was Peter's mind waiting for tomorrow's horrors of death? Was peace in Peter as the Lord had prayed for His disciples? At least in my eyes. In particular, in verses 6 and 7 of today's text, we can see that there was peace in Peter's mind.
“The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists. (Acts 12: 6, 7). "
It was very hard for Peter to run away because two soldiers slept with Peter, and two soldiers were kept outside the prison door. It was a surprising scene where an angel appeared and Peter woke up. In verse 7 it is said that the angel woke up Peter, not by saying, but by striking Peter's side. The word "hitting" here does not mean that the angles have gently woken up Peter, but the angle have hit Peter hard enough to almost die. In other words, Peter was in very deep sleep. What Peter was showing in a situation when he might be killed tomorrow was that he had "Peace" in his mind. And from him, we can find the image of Jesus. Though a great wind was blowing in Peter's life, Peter has become a person who could an enjoy peace in it. Just as the Lord has prayed for His disciples, it is also "Peace" that is found in those who have blessed.
What made you sleepless at night? What were you worried about? Did you have a hard time fighting against anything? I pray that “Peace be with you” like Peter and like Jesus.
Today's text shows that Peter experienced a surprising thing. But as we know, Peter did not pray for the mysterious thing. The church might not pray for Peter to be saved through the mysterious way. In fact, the church prayed, but did not expect Peter to come to life. Nevertheless, the church prayed diligently. They didn’t know how, but their prayers extended Peter's life.
Someone's prayer had made a big difference in Peter's life. It is amazing what Peter experienced. Our prayers could be a profound change in someone's life by God’s grace. I hope that someone's prayers will be your parents' prayer, and that it will also be your child's prayer. Parental prayer can affect their child's life by God’s grace. The children's prayer can also affect their parent’s life by God’s grace. What we can learn is that God is more responsive than we prayed.’
"God answers more than I pray. God is more fulfilling than I think "
God is the one who listens more than we have prayed for, which is shown in today’s passage. I hope that you meet God who accomplishes more than Peter prayed, and also than the church prayed.
Peter escaped from prison in a mysterious way. The soldiers were waked, but didn’t notice what happened to Peter. Soldiers’ eyes and ears were clogged. Peter also didn’t realize what happened and later he saw myself out of prison.
Is it happened because of Peter's power? Did it happen because of Peter's special love of the Lord? No. It is not the power of Peter, nor has the Lord especially loved Peter and extended his life a little longer. Peter knew these well.
Peter meditated on what God did and waited for Lord’s calling. Thus, Peter quietly went to Mark's attic and the he hid quietly elsewhere. Peter has waited for a new mission for the Lord.
If Peter, who was in prison, believed that this had happened with his powers, he might have made such a disturbance. 'So, take me back. Then I will escape from the prison! ' But Peter did not do like this because Peter knew himself well. It is not the ability of the Peter, but the power of the Lord.
In conclusion, the peace that Jesus had in the storm, the peace that Peter had in front of the death. I pray that the peace be with you in the name of the Lord. I also hope that you will meet the Lord who is more responsive than you have prayed for.