For Ladies: Rhoda

Jenny Phillips

In the first century, persecution was quite harsh. Many people did not want to believe that Jesus Christ had come. Acts chapter 12 is one example. Persecution became so intense that Herod, the king at the time, killed James the brother of John. He even went as far as trying to plan the death of Peter. As Peter was in jail, waiting to be the next martyr, he continued to pray. Before Herod was ready for Peter, the angel of the Lord came and freed him. Peter thought that it was just a vision but soon after came to realize that it had really happened. In verse 12, when he had considered this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. This verse mentions that they were praying. In the next verse, the Bible states that Peter knocked on the door of the gate. “It is not strange that the door at the house of Mary would be fastened, as it was night and great fear was upon the disciples.” (H. Leo Boles, Acts, p. 193). When Peter knocked on the door, we meet Rhoda.

Rhoda is referred to as “a damsel.” A damsel is “a young female-servant; the maid-servant who had charge of the door” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). W. E. Vine calls her “a young child.” She recognized Peter well enough that she did not have to see him but knew who he was by the sound of his voice (verse 14). “[This] seems to suggest that she was of the faith.” (Wayne Jackson, Acts, p. 151). She was willing to believe the evidence based on the work of God. Her open mind led her to act upon the evidence. Young people need open minds today when faced with the evidence from God’s word.

Verse 14 goes on to say that she was so glad about Peter being there that she did not open the gate but ran inside to tell the others. In Matthew 5:11-12, Jesus states that if you are persecuted for his name’s sake, and men revile you, you should be exceeding glad. She could have “turned Peter in” for breaking the law and escaping the jail, but she did not for Jesus’ sake. She ran and told others the good news. Everyone needs to work on this but especially young people. If we start to tell our friends about Jesus at a young age, we will be more likely to grow up in the true faith and not some man-made creed.

Verse 15 reveals that the saints at Mary’s house rejected Rhoda’s message claiming, “Thou art mad.” This is going to be the same with us. Many people might say that we are crazy for believing in God. Just about every science textbook has a section on macroevolution, or the “Big Bang Theory.” Many people do not want to follow God because of their immoral lifestyle, and there are others who just do whatever they want, whenever they want; but, sadly, when it comes down to judgment, they will see for themselves that they were wrong and there is a punishment for it.

Rhoda is a good example for young Christian ladies today. She will stand throughout time for her example in the inspired Record. She was not afraid to show her faith, but the questions remain: What example will you show to others? Will you show your faith? -P.O. Box 176, Belington, WV 26250.

(Editor’s note: Sister Jenny is the teenage daughter of Mike and Kim Phillips and is a member of the Belington church of Christ where her father serves as the preacher.)

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