Would you like to talk to an angel about what’s happening to you?  I would.

Peter came close, but did not have adequate time for an in-depth discussion.  

It is reported in Acts 12:8-10.  King Herod, willing to please the militant Jews, killed James (the brother of John).  He arrested Peter, intending to put him on trial after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  While Peter was asleep amidst four guards, God arranged a jailbreak.  An angel sprung Peter. Chains fell off Peter’s wrists and an iron gate “. . . opened for them by itself.” A short distance from the jail, suddenly the angel left Peter.

“Hey, come back. I have a question!”  “What just happened?  Why did James get killed and I am still alive?”

The Surreal  Let’s re-think about what happened.  Peter, still sleepy, made a lame response to the angel’s presence.  He didn’t grasp what was going on and had to be told to (1) get up, (2) put on his clothes, and (3) wrap his cloak around himself.  He did not connect the dots any quicker than we would have. “. . . He had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision” (vs. 9).  

It was an ethereal, surreal moment. It seemed like a dream. Fantastic. Incongruent mental images, like: I am in prison, so who is this Being?  Why did the chains fall off my wrists? How did the gate open?  Where are we going?  What is happening?  I must be dreaming.  Why didn’t those four guards leap up and force me back into my cell?   

Peter followed the angel out of the prison, then suddenly the angel disappeared. Why?  

Limited Knowledge Makes for a Better Game   The angel silently disappeared, as though the God Team — the home team — was only allowed a limited amount of knowledge about the game they were to continue playing. As though further instructions would violate the way the game was to be played. As though Peter achieving victory with a limited understanding would bring more credit to the Coach.  The Coach’s brilliance would be recognized when His team won with minimal assistance.    

Consequently, there was no meeting with Peter and others to get them all stoked up;  no fleshing out the situation. No illuminating understanding to give Peter an additional leg up on the competition. No insider information. No briefing. No powerpoint. No comment about James’ recent death. No meeting of a central committee. No strategy meeting in the Situation Room of the White House. Nothing. Peter could have used a divine explanation of the jail-break.

Mental Metal   Twice – the wrist chains and the iron gate – metal had opened.  Had an invisible angel done that, or did the atoms in the metal simply respond to the mental direction of the Sovereign? 

All the physical world is obedient to the Living God, which is clear evidence that we do not see into the ultimate dimension of reality.  The spirit dimension governs the physical dimension.  The earth with its huge seas and vast continents is God’s sand box; the moon, sun and stars His little children.  All are responsive to His guidance and commands.   

Need to Know Basis   Did Peter already know all he needed?  We think we need to know something that God has not been pleased to share with us.  Am I going to survive cancer?  Why did the accident happen?  When will my father ever forgive me?  What is going to happen?  

No, we don’t.  Deuteronomy speaks to this issue:  

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed
belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the
words of this law” (29:29).

Later, Peter himself would tell us we do not need more information:  

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and
godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His
own glory and goodness” (II Peter 1:3). 

Conclusion  Therefore, the angel did not stay with Peter for a post-jail break briefing.  We, also, can be confident that we have all the information we need to serve and enjoy the Living God in these days.   While mysteries remain, we have orders from headquarters and enough detailsn  to sustain us.