In today's passage of Acts 12:1-17, Herod, seeking favor with the Jews, arrested James, the brother of John and had him executed. When he saw this pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter, and planned to kill him too. So, this passage opens with the Apostle James dead and the Apostle Peter in prison, about to be put to death.
In this prison experience, God shows up in an amazing way and gives His servants great reason to continue to praise His name and give Him glory.
Chapter 10 first revealed the visit from an angel to Cornelius, then God’s revelation to Peter that nothing he has created is to be considered unclean.
Now the last part of the chapter climaxes with the opening of the Gospel to the gentiles and to people everywhere.
In the previous sermon, “God Outside the Box”, we saw that God is often seen doing something new, which no one expected: for example the coming of the Holy Spirit, calling a man like Paul to be an apostle, and reaching outside the confines of Judaism to offer salvation to the Gentiles.
Today, we'll get Peter's perspective (and all of Judaism) as they try to confine God strictly to the ideologies of their religion. Of course, He'll have no part of that!