4th Sunday of Easter
His self-gift on the cross is a perfect act of love, the perfect example of his teaching that laying down one’s life for another is the greatest expression of love (15:13). Self-sacrificial love is the defining standard for all disciples of Jesus (15:12–14, 17), and especially for those appointed to be shepherds of his flock
The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the center of mankind, the joy of all hearts, and the fulfillment of all aspirations. It is he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted, and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead.” “It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance whereby, while belonging to history, he remains history’s center and goal: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end’ (Rev 22:13).”
This statement, like Peter’s in Acts 4:12, might be viewed as arrogant or unacceptable by people who disagree or who deny the existence of absolute truth. But it is not arrogant to share good news revealed by God that is critically important to people’s eternal salvation.
On the other hand, it does indeed seem condescending and is ultimately both unfaithful to the truth and uncharitable for Christians to say, “I don’t tell Muslims about Jesus. I help them to be better Muslims.” What do we as Christians know about helping Muslims (or others of different religions) be better Muslims? Rather, we must say with Peter’s offer: “What I do have I give you” (Acts 3:6). What we have is the good news that God became man in Jesus to save all people: “With your blood you purchased for God / those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation” (Rev 5:9). Authentic missionary witness lovingly and noncoercively shares with others what we most value, regardless of whether some listeners will be annoyed by our message or even try to suppress it.