Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

During the early Christian era, slaves and servants with pagan Ro- man masters were often treated with contempt and cruelty. They could be killed for almost any offense, large or small. It is said, for instance, that Augustus Caesar crucified over 30,000 slaves while he was in power. Thankfully, things were different in Christian households. Slaves and servants were treated more humanely and were generally invited to worship along with their Christian owners.

Rhoda was one such servant in the home of Mary, mother of John Mark the evangelist. One night Christian believers gathered at Mary’s home to pray for Peter, who had recently been imprisoned. Times were difficult for Christians; persecution was rampant, and these believers rightly feared for Peter’s life. So, they spent the night pleading with God to save him. Around midnight there was a knocking at the door of the gate, and Rhoda dutifully went to answer it. But when she heard Peter’s voice, she left him standing outside and ran to tell the others.

The story of Rhoda contains an element of humour. We smile at her failure to open the door for poor Peter. But Rhoda did something right as well; she was very quick to believe. When she excitedly carried the news to the others, they were slow to acknowledge that God had intervened. Although they had prayed for hours, perhaps days, for Peter, they were hesitant to believe. And when Rhoda told them Peter was there, they told Rhoda she was out of her mind!

We don’t know exactly how old Rhoda was; the Scriptures call her a “girl,” and we know she was a servant, so perhaps her tender age and humble position account for her straightforward faith. Jesus said that we all need to have the simple faith of trusting children. Are we as quick to believe as was Rhoda? Do we have the faith of children?

Dear Jesus, give me the simple faith I need to believe in You and trust Your Word with all my heart.

For Further Study: Acts 12:12–16; Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15

Daily Devotional Verses

“As Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognised Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate” (Acts 12:13, 14). For Further Study: Acts 12:12–16; Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:15

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