Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rhoda, Open the Door!

Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. Acts 12:13, NIV

This charming story about a servant named Rhoda deserves more attention. We have a miracle, and then an understandable disbelief.

In theater I suppose Rhoda's part would be considered so minor as to go unrecorded. But God has chosen to include Rhoda in the narrative and even given us her name. So much can be made of this that one can be tempted to draw a number of lessons from it. But first, let's catch up with the bigger picture.

Peter is to go before Herod the next day, no doubt to be tried and executed. A group is praying for him. But Peter is being guarded by a series of guards and is chained between two of them. Suddenly an angel wakes him and miraculously the chains fall away.

The angel leads him past the first and second guards and out onto a street. When they have traversed the street, the angel disappears. Peter is on his own.

He comes to the house where they are praying for him and knocks on the door. He has been released by an angel from prison, but now he needs to knock and ask for someone to let him in. Rhoda hears his voice and recognizes it. She runs to tell the others that Peter is at the door. In her excitement she does not open it and leaves Peter to continue knocking.

Those praying do not believe Peter is there. They think perhaps it is his angel. Rhoda returns to open the door and Peter tells of his miraculous delivery from prison.

This would make an excellent play, with both drama and comedy. How human it all is. As for credits, the part of Rhoda was played by Rhoda. I am so glad God shows us that sometimes we need a miracle, and sometimes we need a human to open the door.

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