Filled with the Holy Spirit

Acts 4:8-12

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said :”Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men,this is the only one by which we can be saved.”

John 10:11-18

Jesus said:

‘ I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, sincehe is not the shepherd and the sheep donot belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern 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 my sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock and one shepherd.

The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as it is in my power to lay it down, so it is in my power to take it up again; and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’


One of the recurring themes in Acts is that of the apostles and disciples being ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ which, in turn, finds expression inthe boldness of their speech. As Peter addresses the rulers and elders, we observe his boldness in answering their query concerning the healing of a disabled person.

Peter qualifies that he does this ‘in the name of Jesus Christ the cruicified one whom God raised.’ He acknowledges that his power and authority come from God through Jesus Christ; he heals as he did. His actions, and not just his words, are testament and witness to the one whom God raised.

The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as the good shepherd, ‘the one who lays his life down for his sheep.’ This image of Jesus contrasts with that of the shepherds mentioned in the Old Testament who were bad leaders who lead the people of Israel astray. It also interacts with New Testament writings that warn of false shepherds. Jesus, the good shepherd, can be trusted. He is the Son of God and not a hired hand. The focus of the passage is on Jesus as the one who laid down his life freely.

In John’s account, we hear that Jesus has the power to take up his life again.; This is possible, Jesus says, as it is ‘the command I have been given by my Father’ and it offers strong assurance of God’s power in Jesus, of this complete trust in the love of Gpd and his own love for his sheep.