GOSPEL MEDITATION # 37
James Killed and Peter Imprisoned
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- From memory, determine the central points.
- “Herod the king” a son of Herod the Great, ruled much of Palestine from A.D.41-44, was unscrupulous and did all he could to please the Roman emperors, Caligula and Claudius.
- He set about to persecute the Church and did so violently, thus demonstrating his political and religious convictions were weak.
- James was the older brother of John, the Beloved Disciple. The family name was Zebedee and they were fishermen. James and John were among the first followers of Jesus going back to the days of John the Baptist. (see Matthew 14:18-20)
- Herod would do anything to retain political power so he killed James “with the sword” and it is uncertain how the execution was carried out.
- The event pleased the “Jews” and this is in reference to the religious Jews, the Sanhedrin, who watched with horror no doubt, the growth of the numbers of followers of Jesus in Jerusalem.
- These events took place during the high holy days, the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. (see Leviticus 23:3-8)
- Wanting to further ingratiate himself with the Jewish community, Herod proceeded to imprison Peter who was a prominent leader amongst the Christians.
- “Four squads of soldier”—Herod would take no chances with Peter, who had escaped from a Roman prison before. (see Acts 5:17-21)
- The plan was to have Peter presented to the people, in a public display, at the time of Passover. This is, of course, is exactly what happened to Jesus.