Lessons for the Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 22, 2018

Acts 4: 5-12

It is Jerusalem, Peter and John had been in the court of the temple, had cured a crippled man and were teaching a crowd that had gathered there.  This was too much for the priests and captain of the temple.  So, with the Sadducees they arrested Peter and John, charging them with blasphemy.  But Luke writes that some 5000 believed what they had heard from Peter about Jesus.   The Jewish leadership                                       seeks answers to this rejection of authority, but Peter, empowered by the Spirit preaches salvation through Jesus Christ, confusing the High Priest and his family.  The effort to shut down the preaching of Pater and John will fail in the coming days and the message of Jesus will continue to spread in Jerusalem.

 I John 3: 16-24

The author of this epistle derives much of his thought from the Gospel of John, calling upon his readers to make the love of God concrete and not temporary or wistful – it is in love for fellow Christians that believers should shine.  The author calls for truth and action in our love of neighbor, for in this way we are doing what God desires for all people.

 John 10: 11-18

Jesus had enabled a blind man to recover his sight.  It was on the Sabbath Day, a day of no activity, so the Pharisees desired to understand how this was possible and who had done this for the blind man. To their question, the man, a sinner by definition, responded but his answer was seen by the Pharisees to be a lie since God does not speak to sinners.  The action of Jesus did not fit with the Mosaic Law of the Pharisees, so they drove him out.  Jesus, hearing what happened, consoles the man, accepts him to belief in him and then teaches metaphorically of his relationship to the people and the Pharisees’ relationship, using a story of the sheep and the shepherd and their roles in life.