“But the word of God increased and multiplied” (v24). Just as the church was experiencing amazing, multiethnic growth in Antioch (ch 11), persecution struck again in Jerusalem. The apostle James, brother of John, was killed, and Peter was put in prison (v2). These events could have created a defensive or secretive community, but instead, the believers gathered together to pray (v5,12). Peter was miraculously released from prison, and the believers rejoiced, and the Church continued to grow.
All Herod’s terrible power could not quench the faith of the early believers. Armed only with prayer, the Spirit, and the word of God, they “increased and multiplied.”