A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4:5-12)
The rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
> Good Shepherd theme — transition point.
> In Chapter 3 Peter heals a man in the name of Jesus.
> The Jewish leadership, afraid of what is happening, arrested Peter and John
> Stark difference in Peter’s speech
> Psalm 18:22 quote made by Peter
> Peter gives another speech to give the same message…
> “You crucified Jesus, God raised him up again.”
> They are let go from prison and resume preaching again.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; *
I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures *
and leads me beside still waters.
3 He revives my soul *
and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.
4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; *
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You spread a table before me in the presence of those
who trouble me; *
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
6 Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days
of my life, *
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
> There are various traditional versions of Psalm 23.
> Shepherd’s role — guard sheep, provide for good pasture and water
> Even when threatened, have no fear.
> New image in last few verses
> In those days, anyone single and on their own lived a dangerous existence.
> That person is cared for by God even though they were alone.
A Reading from First Letter of John (3:16-24)
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
> Ties together faith and action — inseperable
> We don’t receive God’s love unless we do something about it.
> Two fold: believe and love one another
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (10:11-18)
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
> Continues with the Good Shepherd theme
> Good can mean righteous or noble.
> Johannine community took a little different approach to Jesus’ humanity.
> Some disagreements with other Christian communities.
> In John’s version, Jesus is always in command of events and in control.
> Pilate is really on trial.
> Jesus is putting down his own life and taking it again as empowered by the Father.
> The Good Shepherd is a well-loved image.