The stricter the watch, the more wonderful the demonstration. This was done on behalf of Peter, who became more esteemed as a result, and to demonstrate his innate virtue. “Prayer was earnestly made,” it says. It was the prayer of heartfelt love. They all sought a father, a gentle father. “Earnest prayer,” it says. Listen as to how they were disposed toward their teachers. They did not divide into factions or make an uproar but turned to prayer, that true alliance which is invincible. In this they sought refuge. They did not say, “Am I, a lowly good-for-nothing, to pray for him?” For since they acted out of love, they did not give these things any thought.1
EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA:
He did not add next something like “he will deliver me out of the mouth of the lion,” for he saw in the spirit that his death was all but at hand. So he adds to his words, “And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” He says: “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom,” indicating his speedy martyrdom, which he foretells even more clearly in the same writing, when he says, “For I am even now ready to be sacrificed, and the time of my dissolution is at hand.” 2
Let me say something about this; I am helped, you see, by their words, which have gone out to the ends of the whole wide world. Notice first of all his holy act of pouring himself out. He said he was being immolated, not that he was dying. It is not because one who is immolated doesn’t die but that not everyone who dies is immolated. So being immolated he is dying for God. The word is taken from sacrifice. Everything that is sacrificed is slaughtered for God.3
- HOMILIES ON THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 26. Martin, F., & Smith, E. (Eds.). (2006). Acts (p. 152). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 2.22. Gorday, P. (Ed.). (2000). Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (pp. 272–273). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- Sermons 299.3. Gorday, P. (Ed.). (2000). Colossians, 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon (p. 273). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.