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Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Crazy" Rhoda?

Rhoda is a fascinating Bible person. In three short verses (Acts 12:13-16), we learn much about this young woman.

She is attending a prayer meeting at John Mark’s mother’s house. (Good thing to do in the evening!) She must be praying near the door of the house. Was she the last person in? Is the house so packed that the entrance is the only place left for her? Or, is she the doorkeeper?

We know Rhoda is a “damsel.” This word means she’s a young girl, possibly a maid servant.

People are praying, specifically for Peter’s release from prison and for his life to be spared. Rhoda appears to be the only one who hears the knock at the door. She goes to the door, recognizes Peter’s voice, and turns around and tells everyone, “Peter is at the door.” They think she’s crazy, and she insists, “Peter is at the door.” They decide it must be his ghost. (How superstitious is that?) She still insists, and finally, they open the door. VoilĂ ! There’s Peter, out there on the doorstep! The prayer warriors are “astonished.” Pray . . . believe . . . surprise!

Rhoda is where she should be as a Christian—praying with other Christians.
She is a single young woman.
God lets her be the first to know their prayers are answered.
Rhoda tells others about the blessing.
She is misunderstood. They call her crazy, and tell her she must have talked to a ghost!
Rhoda insists it’s Peter.
Finally, they open the door and prove her right! God is great! Peter is safe!
And, Rhoda isn’t so crazy after all!

There are many parallels here for us. When we pray, believing, God just might do a miracle to answer those prayers! When we tell people God has done something marvelous, they may judge us crazy or delusional—and they might even tell us so! When we know what God is doing, we need to hang on to the truth, just like Rhoda did. Finally, she was proven right. (We might not ever get proven right, but if not, it doesn’t really matter. We’re responsible for our own actions, and others are responsible for theirs.)

I have to admire Rhoda. She didn’t see, but she believed. She was sure God had answered prayer, and she didn’t hesitate to insist on the truth she knew. She was where she should be, praying, with God’s people. She knew Peter’s voice—which tells us she had listened to him preach.

Crazy Rhoda? I think we should call her “Faithful Rhoda.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for bringing so much to consider about Rhoda!


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