ACTS 2:42:47


The book of Acts is Luke’s sequel to his gospel.  It takes up where his gospel left off.  Jesus ascends into heaven (chapter 1).  Then, the Holy Spirit makes his dramatic entrance, and many come to believe in Jesus (chapter 2). Starting with the end of chapter 2, we get a glimpse of the activities of the early church.  If you ever wondered what it might have been like in those early years, this is your answer.


  • They “had all things in common … selling possessions, and distributing them to those in need.”  This sounds a little like a hippie commune from the ‘60’s, with one big exception.  This was a loving group of Christians, sharing with one another.  (vv. 42-46) 
  • They spent much time together in the temple.  They broke bread (the Lord’s Supper) at home. This was because the early church met in homes, as well as in the temples.  Most important of all, they “ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.”  (vv. 46-47a)
  • The contrast to those around them must have been overwhelming, because many were drawn to Jesus based upon the sincerity of these little groups.  (v. 47b)


For these Christians, accepting Jesus as their savior brought about a radical change of lifestyle. It was a life focused on loving others.



Could we Christians do this today?  Could we give away all our possessions, and live in one, big community?  

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing this? 

What do you see about this lifestyle that is God-pleasing?

How can we be more like these early Christians, without going to these extremes? 

1 PETER 2:19-25


In the second chapter of 1 Peter, he is writing to various groups of people—slaves, husbands, wives, etc.  In verse 18 (just prior to today’s reading), it states that the instructions we read about in this passage were for slaves.  Slave ownership was an accepted part of life at this time.  Between a quarter and a third of the population were slaves.  Sometimes, these servant-slaves believed in Jesus, and their masters did not. Sometimes, they suffered for their beliefs.  Since slavery no longer exists in our culture, do we discard this instruction? I don’t think so. To me, it is just as applicable to people in the workplace.



  • Peter is talking about slaves who have been beaten for their faith.  Presumably, their masters were not Christians.  Peter states that if you’ve been beaten for a just reason, then you got what you deserved.  But if you have suffered for your faith, then you are just like Jesus.  Jesus suffered for his obedient dedication to his Father. These are words of encouragement for those suffering for their faith.  (vv. 19-24)
  • We are to remember that Jesus bore our sins by being nailed to the cross.  Before we believed, we were like stray sheep.  Now, we follow Jesus, who cares for our souls.  (v. 25)



We all answer to somebody, so this instruction is just as appropriate for us today.  Sometimes, we face a choice between doing the expected thing or doing the right thing. When we do the right thing, we often endure suffering.  We can find comfort in knowing that Jesus suffered, too.  We should follow his lead.  

JOHN 10:1-10


This passage comes on the heels of Jesus’ healing of a man who was blind from birth.  Some of the Pharisees were upset about it.  Jesus hints to them that maybe they are the blind ones.  They did not take it well.  At that moment, Jesus turns to his followers, and teaches them today’s lesson. It is important for us to recognize that Jesus’ teaching uses figures of speech.  He is not calling himself a gate or shepherd in the literal sense, but figuratively.



  • Jesus begins his teaching by talking about livestock farming!  He reminds them about the nature of sheep and their shepherd.  Real sheep behave like the sheep in this passage.  They really can tell their master’s voice from a stranger’s.  Jesus must have known this, and uses it as an object lesson.  (vv. 1-5)
  • The disciples are confused.  “Why are you talking about sheep?”, they seem to say, or at least that’s how I imagine it.  (v. 6)
  • The “thieves and bandits” are those who denounce Jesus as the Messiah, and seek to lead us astray.  In this case, they are the temple officials, who feel threatened by Jesus’ superior spirituality. (vv. 7-8)
  • Jesus explains the story by making one of his famous “I am” statements that are found in John’s gospel.  This one is “I am the gate”.  He is also the shepherd, whose voice we recognize.  We follow him, and find good pasture.  (v. 9)
  • By following Jesus, we have abundant life. (v. 10)


Psalm 118:19-20 is interesting:

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.


Jesus is our “gate”.  Through him, we have access to God. 

In Jesus, we will find our Good Shepherd, and will be saved.