Chris W. Dial on Acts 11-12
Several months ago, I denied that I knew someone whom I had grown to love. Then they murdered him. Miraculously, he came back alive. He forgave me for denying him. Then he left. But before he left, he gave me and my friends a special gift. A gift that enabled us to tell about him, and do some amazing things. We even started groups dedicated to him. We spread what he taught us throughout our country, and neighboring countries.
But the people who killed him, began coming after us. They persecuted us and the people who we taught about him. In fact, they openly murdered one of the guys we had taught about him. This guy was something. Instead of being angry, and cursing them, he was just like my beloved friend, and he forgave them for what they were doing to him. Even though he, and we, had not committed any crimes, they persecuted us. And they sicked one guy in particular after us. This guy did more damage to us than anyone else.
Then I had this weird experience. You see, we were teaching people about our beloved friend only to our own people. Then I had this weird experience. In this weird experience, I was told to teach other people about my beloved friend. And I did, right after the weird experience. I taught this guy from Italy, him and his whole house hold. And they all got baptized in His name. They also received the special gift that He had given to us. But then there were some people at our church, who were upset about teaching our friend to other people. But when I told them about this weird experience I had, this vision, then they agreed that other people should be taught about Him. So we began teaching all people about Him.
For a while, despite the persecution from our own countryman, everything was going great. Then, our king had one of my buddies killed. He got so full of himself, because our people were praising and cheering him on, he put me in prison. During this time, we celebrate what is called The Feast of the Unleavened Bread. It is right before our celebration of The Passover. Besides being chained, I am being guarded by four squads of soldiers. I am being guarded so tightly, I can't move without the guards knowing it. So I might as well go to sleep.
Huh? Someone just hit my face! Oh give God the glory, it is an angel! He's telling me to get up and get dressed. I am not chained anymore. We're passing by all the guards. The front gate of the prison is opening up by itself. No, it's the angel who is opening the gate somehow. I am outside the prison. The angel is gone! I have to get away from this prison. I'll head to Mary's house. Her son is John, who we also call Mark. Good I made it to her door, now I will just ring the bell and they will let me in. Great here comes Rhoda! She will let me in.
" Wait Rhoda! Let me in!"
Great, maybe if I knock again she will come back and let me in. Ah, here she is again with the others. Yes, I'm in with them. I'm telling them what just happened to me. They told me they have been praying for me. I tell them to tell James and my brothers what has happened to me. And what happened to Andrew. Then I leave, and go somewhere else. I hear they are looking for me. Because our king heard that I, Peter, escaped he had all the guards executed. But now, I hear that because he delighted in his own self glory, and didn't give God any praise, he died. Some say God made worms eat him from inside. Some say he died from something else.
It doesn't matter what he tried to do us, or any of the religious leaders have tried to do to us. Word of my friend, Jesus Christ, is being spread, and our number of believers increases everyday. And the man that the Jewish leader sicked on us, is now one of us. He was called Saul, now he is called Paul. And John, who is also called Mark, now travels with him and Barnabas. God is making everything work out for those of who love and teach Jesus Christ.
Chris W. Dial
Chris W. Dial was born in Miami, Oklahoma but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Church of Christ. He graduated in 1981 from Oklahoma Christian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible. He attends Journey Church of Christ and works for the Tulsa County Court Clerk's Office in the Records Department.