Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: "Hurry!" The handcuffs fell off his wrists.
The angel said, "Get dressed. Put on your shoes." Peter did it. Then, "Grab your coat and let's get out of here."
Peter followed him, but didn't believe it was really an angel - he thought he was dreaming.
Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze. At the first intersection the angel left him, going his own way.
That's when Peter realized it was no dream. "I can't believe it - this really happened! The Master sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's vicious little production and the spectacle the Jewish mob was looking forward to."
Still shaking his head, amazed, he went to Mary's house, the Mary who was John Mark's mother. The house was packed with praying friends.
When he knocked on the door to the courtyard, a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was.
But when she recognized his voice - Peter's voice! - she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street.
But they wouldn't believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. "You're crazy," they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn't believe her and said, "It must be his angel."
All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.
Peter put his hands up and calmed them down. He described how the Master had gotten him out of jail, then said, "Tell James and the brothers what's happened." He left them and went off to another place.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)