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Peter escapes from prison while the guards are in a strange coma.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Open the Door!

Marcus looked curiously at the chained sleeping man beside him. This guy’s body isn’t jerking with tension. Not even a twitch, though his trial is tomorrow.

“Julius, have you ever seen a prisoner like this? Each of his wrists is manacled to one of ours and he’s sleeping!”

“No, I haven’t. Maybe he figures he’s going to escape some supernatural way.  Do you know what happened the last time he was put into prison for healing and preaching about Jesus?”

“Yes, the captain of his guard told me that this fellow was in his cell with eleven of his buddies. They’re all followers of Jesus. Somehow they disappeared from jail. When the Temple guards went to take them to their trial, they were gone; yet the jail was locked and the guards were standing outside. Guess where the men were.”

“I heard. The Jewish religious leaders are so convinced of their righteousness and their power and yet these guys were found right where they were before. They were in the Temple talking about Jesus. The Council was furious! They demanded, “Didn’t we tell you to stop your talk about Jesus?”

They answered swiftly, “We obey God, not man. You leaders set up Jesus to be crucified. He allowed it because His crucifixion and resurrection provided a way for sins to be forgiven.”

“Does that make sense, Marcus?”

“No, but I heard that one of the Roman centurions, Cornelius, became one of these Jesus followers and Saul, one of the super fanatic Jewish leaders, is a Jesus preacher now.”

“What’s this prisoner’s name?”


“Marcus, what’s the matter with you?

“I can’t stay awake.”

Soon the soldiers were in a strange coma.

The cell suddenly shone with a bright light and an angel stood by Peter. The angel tapped Peter on his shoulder to awaken him. “Get up, quickly!” Peter’s chains fell off. “Put on your coat and follow me.”

Peter was conscious, but he didn’t think that he was. I’m having a vision. He walked past the first and second guard posts and out the iron gates to the street.  The doors opened by themselves. Then the angel was gone. This is for real. God sent an angel and saved me from King Herod and what the Jewish leaders planned to do to me.

He walked to the home of some Jesus believers.They were inside praying that Peter would be released. He knocked. A servant girl came, but she did not open the door. She heard Peter say, “Open the door.” She recognized his voice, but she was so shocked that she left him standing outside.

She ran to the people. “Peter is standing at the door.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s probably an angel.”

Peter kept knocking. Finally someone opened the door and was flabbergasted to see Peter.

“Peter’s here.” The people all began talking.

Peter said, “Calm down. Let me tell you how I got out of jail.” Then he told them. “Tell James and others of us what happened.” He left.

The next morning the soldiers were totally confused. “Where is the prisoner Peter?”

King Herod ordered a search and when Peter wasn’t found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death.

The Jesus believers rejoiced at Peter’s escape. They realized that though their lives were threatened, God understood their danger.

This is Barbara Steiner with a familiar account recorded in Acts in the Bible. Please check out

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