What about James?

I heard a sermon about Acts 12 the other day. The preached talked about how God responded to the prayers of the church, how He was with Peter and released him from prison.

And I couldn’t help but think, “But what about James?”

You know. The beginning of Acts 12:

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. (Acts 12:1-2)

I wonder if John didn’t have the same question. When everyone was rejoicing at the release of Peter, he had to be asking, “Why not my brother? Why Peter and not James?”

It’s a question worth pondering: “What about James?”

4 thoughts on “What about James?

  1. Rafael Sustaita

    It’s nice to know that the early believers had to deal with the same issues. I still remember the day BJ Humble came into our Greek class to announce that Dr. Roberts had passed. In the previous class he had announced that he was going into the hospital to have some tests done. Still in his early 50s, something no one expected. I was devastated, so much to learn from a man whose experience and knowledge few could match of both classical and koine Greek. To this day, I still ask, What Dr. Roberts?

  2. Tim Archer Post author

    I think it’s good to keep that in mind. As we share stories of answered prayer, we need to remember that sometimes the answer is “No.”

    BTW, Dr. Roberts’ nephew works in the office next to mine.

  3. Mark Edge

    I agree. I think these types of questions about God’s answered prayers (“no”) need to be raised more often. They impact us on an emotional level and if we are not careful, we will internalize our frustration and it will become baggage to us.

  4. Paul Smith

    I think we have so much to learn about prayer. We tend to focus (triumphantly) on the “ask whatever you will and it will be granted” that we lose sight of the fact that many prayers go unanswered. I think of parents who lose infant children, cancer patients who do not survive. My parents both had cancer – my father died and my mom is a 28 year survivor. Totally different situation, though. My father’s cancer had metastasized, the doctors caught my mother’s very early. Prayer? It is a mystery, not a magical incantation to command God to do our bidding.

    Great question. Here is another. After the church prayed for Peter, and he was released, their reaction to Rhoda was, “it must be his ghost.” For what were they praying? If it was for his release, then they had very little faith their prayers would be answered. It has always stumped me.



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