Rhoda: The Young Servant Girl:

Rhoda was a simple servant who displayed dedication and persistence when no one would believe that she recognized the voice of Peter at the gate. Rhoda knew what she knew and had the confidence to react to it. She had confidence in herself and her knowledge. Rhoda also teaches us not to be so easily intimidated, especially by what people say we are out of our minds. We need to believe with our hearts that the LORD can deliver us from anything anytime through the power of prayer. Acts 12:12–16

We know Peter got out of prison because an “angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.” (Acts 12:7). Peter went to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark. (Acts 12:12).

Mark was the evangelist, also the author of the Gospel of Mark. Marcus was his Latin surname, his Jewish name was John. He was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10) and a companion of the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:13) and also of Paul in some of his missionary journeys (Acts 12:25).

If we look at who John Mark, son of a woman named Mary, in whose house the early church gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12) we can better understand who Rhoda was. His mother, Mary, was probably a wealthy Christian in the church at Jerusalem since the church met in her home.

We know Rhoda was a young maid servant who was in charge of opening the gate. She would listen to what the person needed then directing that need to where it should be. Rhoda had dealings with Peter because she recognized his voice. We also can assume that she was very young and probably not educated because in her joy and gladness she ran to tell others Peter was at the gate. She did not open the door of the gate she just ran in jubilation.

The others are not identified but they thought her to be mad, not in her right mind. This did not matter to Rhoda she continued to insist that Peter stood at the gate. They thought she had seen his angel. Today we would say she saw the ghost of Peter. Since Peter had been held by Herod they knew he was probably already dead. Yet this young damsel insisted it was really Peter.

Finally they heard the continuing knocking of Peter and when they opened the door and saw him they were astonished.

There has been many times in my life personally when I have known something and no one believed it could be true. I am sure you know what I am talking about. Rhoda knew Peter was at the gate knocking, he was alive and he was really there. She had confidence in herself and her knowledge that she recognized the voice of Peter and reacted upon that knowledge.

Rhoda knew what she knew and had the confidence to react to it. This act alone is a characteristic we, as Women of Christ, should cherish. We should have the confidence to know what we know especially with our relationship with Christ. When we hear Jesus and knocking and recognize His voice we should be willing to show that joy and jubilation and go running to share that good news. I love the fact that Rhoda held a lower position, she was not rich, nor probably educated, she did not have riches yet she knew what she knew and ran with great joy.

Rhoda also displayed dedication and persistence when no one would believe that she recognized the voice of Peter at the gate. She was accused of being mad or out of her mind. She was unwavering in her belief that Peter was at the gate. This is a wonderful example for us to stand fast unwavering in our faith and knowledge about the truth of Jesus Christ. We should not be afraid of being called mad, or out of our mind, or even being belittled when it comes to sharing the truth about Jesus. It is always hard to show steadfastness, dedication, and commitment when there are other believers that criticize or even condemn our belief or our life experience and the knowledge we have gained during our travels with Christ. We have to learn to be dedicated and committed to Jesus and His truths and not be afraid to stand on what we know.

People had gathered at the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark probably to pray for Peter who had been thrown in prison and they were afraid that he had been killed. When Rhoda reported that Peter was knocking at the gate they told her that it was his angel she saw. They were probably good hearted people who had great intentions to pray for Peter yet they were lacking in faith when they tried to brush Rhoda away. They were not strong in their faith for the LORD. They were not putting their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but in their own prayers. They could not have had faith that Peter would be delivered from the prison and from death.

Many times when we pray for the LORD to work on our behalf; we also show the same lack of faith that He will answer our prayers. These prayers are not prayed in faith they are prayed out of habit and in the lack of faith.

James 5: 15-16 tells us; “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Rhoda was consistent in her faith and believed what she knew to be true. When the others told her that Peter was not at the gate instead it was his angel she believed and had faith in what she knew. The others were praying for the protection of Peter yet they did not believe their praying for protection was going to happen. On the contrary they believed that they were praying for a dead man. They would rather believe Peter was dead and his angel or his ghost was visiting them instead of the real deal. Doesn’t it seem realistic that if they had had enough faith to believe it was the angel or ghost of Peter they should have had enough faith to believe that Peter was alive and the Lord protected him?

Isn’t this a good example of how the skeptics handle faith? Their thought process is pray just in case it might help. They will not believe something so simple that their prayers were answered by the Lord and Peter had been protected and was indeed standing at the gate. It is easier to think that their prayers were not answered and they would leave Peter knocking at the gate trying to get in. Here they had been praying for Peter but did not believe in their prayers. Rhoda believed their prayers had been answered and knew Peter was very much alive and knocking to be let in.

Rhoda also teaches us not to be so easily intimidated, especially by what people say we are out of our minds. We need to believe with our hearts that the LORD can deliver us from anything anytime through the power of prayer.

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:2-10).

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “Rhoda: The Young Servant Girl:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Feb 2015.< https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2181,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, February) “Rhoda: The Young Servant Girl:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2181,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “Rhoda: The Young Servant Girl:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (February), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2181, (accessed).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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