Text: Mark 1
"Many were gathered together praying..." Acts 12:11,12
The early church met in homes for worship and fellowship. Believers gathered in homes to pray together. One such home was mentioned in the following text.
“And when Peter had come to himself, he said,
‘Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel,
and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all
the expectation of the Jewish people.’
So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary,
the mother of John whose surname was Mark,
where many were gathered together praying.”
As the Church prayed earnestly for the safe-keeping of Peter, God sent an angel to release him from the custody of Herod’s jail. The angel roused Peter from sleep, and then bade him to follow. It seemed so much like a dream, only it wasn’t. It was reality! Peter was miraculously released from his maximum security prison cell.
THE HOUSE OF MARY
Peter must have been to this house many times before. Upon realizing that he had been released from Herod’s prison, Peter made his way to the house of Mary, here identified as “the mother of John Mark”. The following conclusions may be drawn from a study of this text.
1. A fairly wealthy household
This home must have been large enough to accommodate the “many gathered together” for prayer. It goes without saying, that one must have some wealth to have a house large enough to hold so many people.
2. A godly and prayerful household
Mary’s household must have been prayerful. No one would open up the home for the purpose of prayer (and worship) if a deep faith in God was absent.
3. A household that was willing to suffer for the faith
The Sanhedrin Council issued warrants of arrest against those who professed faith in Jesus (Cf. Acts 9:1-2). Any household that opened its doors to Christian activities ran obvious risks. The authorities could arrest and jail people seen as law-breakers.
GROWING UP IN SUCH A GODLY HOME
Mark was greatly advantaged indeed. He had a fairly comfortable life, for his household was well-provided for. He grew up in a home where Peter the leading apostle was well loved. He had an excellent example of faith in his mother. It would not be surprising if all these factors blessed his life significantly.