Sunday 21st April 2024
The authority of the name of Jesus
  • Acts 4:8-12
  • Psalm 118:1,8-9,21-23,26-29
  • 1 John 3:1-2
  • John 10:11-18

In today’s First Reading we see the boldness of Peter in confessing that the name of Jesus was the power that healed the lame man. He did so, not just to his friends and supporters but to the chief priests and elders of the temple, the highest council in Jewish law at the time.

Peter reminded them that Jesus was the stone that the Jewish leaders had rejected and crucified and whom God had raised from the dead and is now the chief cornerstone through whom we receive healing and salvation. Confessing that Jesus is the only way to salvation, especially to unbelievers is not easy, as we fear rejection and ridicule. We recall Peter’s fear and timidity after Jesus was captured by the Romans, when he denied any association with or knowledge of him.

What gave Peter the boldness to confess to a hostile audience who were responsible for putting Jesus to death? He was filled with the Holy Spirit who gave him a supernatural boldness and ability to speak the truth and he was not intimidated by his audience.

We cannot make these confessions on our own strength but by the infilling of the Holy Spirit who will open the ears of the listener to hear by faith, regardless of their belief.

We too cannot preach that Jesus is the only way to salvation if we are unable to evidence having experienced the transforming power of Jesus in our own lives. It is through the testimonies of Jesus’ healing and saving power in our lives that we can boldly confess that there is no other name by which we can be saved.

In today’s Gospel Proclamation, Jesus declares that “a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep”. His death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, and through the resurrected Christ, people are being saved by his name even today.

He is the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 in the wilderness and comes in search of the one who is lost. He lovingly pursues us when we run away from him.

He is still giving his life for us and because he lives, we have the promise of salvation through him. We must rejoice in the celebration of Easter and renew our confession that Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has given us a path to salvation and eternal life.

PRAYER: Abba Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and embolden me to profess the saving name of Jesus. Amen.

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