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Commentary
Acts 4:5-12

Acts 4:5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes – The author makes it clear through the use of “their rulers, elders, and scribes” that the followers of the Way are no longer welcomed in the synagogue. Acts 4:6 Acts 4:7 Acts 4:8 Then Peter – The author attributes Peter with speaking these words. filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them – The “Holy Spirit . . . motivates the prophets to speak. (Acts 4:8; 6:3, 5; 7:55; 8:26, 29, 39; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; 16:6-7; 19:21; 20:33; 21:4, 11)”1 The implication is that Peter is functioning as a prophet. Rulers of the people and elders – Peter is speaking to the leaders because they want to know where this power to heal and to draw such large crowds is coming from. Acts 4:9 a good deed done – Of course, this is not the real issue here because normally the leaders want this type of action to occur since it is a part of the Jewish and Christian teachings. Acts 4:10 by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth – Peter and John (Acts 3:1) do not claim that they have the power to heal the sick. Rather, this work was don by Jesus Christ. whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – This phrase both identifies the ones responsible for Christ’s death (even though it really was everyone) and the power behind Christ’s life. Acts 4:11 the stone that was rejected by you – The concept here is that the leaders actively turned down the One sent by God. Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else – The assertion here is very clear. Only Jesus offers the healing needed for this life and the next.
Carl R. Holladay; James L. Mays, editor, Chap. Acts In ‘Harper’s Bible Commentary’, (Harper San Francisco, 1988), p. 1078.
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Psalm 23

In the twenty-third psalm, the community is composed of the sheep that God brings together into a flock. The sheep are people just like you and I (Psalm 23:1). We are the ones who do not know what to eat, so Jesus brings us the food that truly fills us (Psalm 23:2). We cannot find the water that gives us life (Psalm 23:2). That is why Jesus brings us where this water flows (Psalm 23:3). We continually want to wander off from this community and Jesus always brings us back to the flock (Psalm 23:4). Jesus patiently does all this work while we are surrounded by our enemies (Psalm 23:5). Psalm 23:1 I shall not want. – We lack nothing because L ORD leads us. Psalm 23:2 He makes me . . . he leads me – The work done by the L ORD happens even when we do not want to follow Him. Psalm 23:3 he restores my soul – The L ORD every day gives us the “stuff” of life. This is what allows us to be renewed. He leads me in right paths – For a sheep, this would be the way to good food and water. And of course, to shearing and slaughter. While the last two might not be beneficial for the sheep, it certainly is good for the sheep’s owner. We have to trust that God is not “fleecing” us because we have no recourse if He is. Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil – The author of the psalm knows that life comes with its ups and downs. Sometimes, it looks as if there is no way out. Even in those situations, the Shepherd is there. your rod and your staff – they comfort me. – The work of discipline is something that we should accept. Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies – Despite all the problems that face me daily, the L ORD feeds me. Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me – All around us are gifts that the L ORD brings. They are nearby even when we do not see them. I shall dwell in the house of the L ORD my whole life long. – While this might sound like a promise made by the author, this cannot be the case because a sheep does not select its Shepherd. The blessing of being with the L ORD is given to us. 2

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1 John 3:16-24

1 John 3:16 We know love by this – The question is, “What is true love?” The author answers that giving one’s life for another is the best measure of love. he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. – The giving of ourselves so that others might have a chance, is the heart of the Christian life. 1 John 3:17 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? – This is a harsh word for today. We still are the fattest nation in the world but we do so little for those people in our midst that have so mean needs. We literally believe that our position in life is a birthright while those others peoples have been given their due also. 1 John 3:18 Little children – The use of τεκνίον that indicates a beloved group of young believers or young children. let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. – Showing each other love in our lives is much harder than just talking about it. 1 John 3:19 by this we will know that we are from the truth – If you have questions about the way that we and others live, look directly at their actions. 1 John 3:20 1 John 3:21 if our hearts do not condemn us – The action of telling us if we are living correctly or not does not come from the seat of our emotions. In other words, we cannot feel if we are following God’s way. Rather, the heart (καρδία indicates that we are to think this over. We must decide if our life follows the example set by Jesus. 1 John 3:22 and we receive from him whatever we ask – If we take this phrase at its word, we have a theology of glory and turn God into nothing more than someone who rewards us. But the text before this verse tells us something else. Living a Christ like life means that you put others before yourself. That means that our prayers and petitions must reflect this understanding also. 1 John 3:23 that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another – This is nothing more than a paraphrase of Christ’s summary of the Law. 3

1 John 3:24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. – This way of life assures us and others that Jesus lives in us.

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John 10:11-18

There is almost universal agreement that this section of John contains no direct quotes from the Old Testament.2 Despite this fact, both the Old Testament and Jewish/Christian literature which is contemporary to John (for example: 1 Enoch 89:12-27, 42-44, 59-70, 74-76; 90:22-25) makes references to bad shepherds (for example: Jeremiah 23:1-8; Ezekiel 34; Ezekiel 22:27; Zephaniah 3:3; Zechariah 10:2-3; Zechariah 11:4-17).3 One of God’s attributes is that He will be a shepherd of His people (for example: Jeremiah 31:10; 13:17; 23:3; Isaiah 40:11; 49:9-10; later examples would be Zephaniah 3:19; Micah 2:12; 4:6-7; Qoh 12:11; Sirach 18:13; a Davidic figure would include Micah 5:3; Jeremiah 3:15; 23:4-6; Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Zechariah 13:7-9, single flock and leader examples: Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Psalm 2:9).4 John 10:11 I am the good shepherd – Through the use of the Holy Name “I Am” ( γώ ε ι), God is proclaiming that He Himself is the One who takes care of the sheep. The use of the Holy Name occurs twice in this passage. This statement by Jesus tells us how He lives. This serves as a stark contrast to the way that thieves, robbers, and hired men operate.5 One could make the interpretation that the thieves and the robbers are those individuals who want to give their own interpretation/realization of the messiah.6 The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – This line has no parallel in the Old Testament or in any of the other Jewish texts that speak of a shepherd.7 John 10:12 sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away – This might either foretell or recall the flight of the Jewish leaders during the destruction of Jerusalem.8
S.D.B. Francis J. Moloney; Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., editor, The Gospel of John, Volume 4, Sacra Pagina Series, (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998), p. 301. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., p. 303. 7 Ibid., p. 304. 8 Ibid., p. 10.
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John 10:13 The hired hand runs away – The best manuscripts leave this out and it should be omitted.9 a hired hand does not care for the sheep. – This is a negative comparison to the work done by Jesus.10 This happens because of the relationship to the sheep. The hired hand works for the money while the shepherd owns the sheep. John 10:14 I know my own and my own know me – This explains the relationship between Jesus and His flock.11 John 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – It is this relationship which allows Jesus to know the sheep.12 John 10:16 other sheep that do not belong to this fold. – It appears that this refers to the Jews.13 Some follow Jesus and others do not. This assertion by Jesus expands the definition of the flock in a way that is not seen in other Jewish writings and teachings.14 John 10:17 I lay down my life – This reveals to the world the relationship between the Father and the Son.15 They love one another. The giving up of Christ’s life raises questions that draw the hearers into the story.16 John 10:18 I have power – This tells us of Christ’s power and authority.17 What comes in the rest of the story is not an accident but instead is planned by God. I have power to take it up again – Despite this sentence, the Gospel according to St. John follows the concept that Christ’s Resurrection occurs because the work of the Father.18
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Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John, p. 310. Ibid., p. 304. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid., p. 305. 14 Ibid. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid., p. 311.

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References
Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B.; Harrington, S.J., Daniel J., editor, The Gospel of John, Volume 4, Sacra Pagina Series, (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998). Holladay, Carl R.; Mays, James L., editor, Chap. Acts In ‘Harper’s Bible Commentary’, (Harper San Francisco, 1988), pp. 1077–1118.

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