24th May 2022

The Holy Spirit Revealed ~ Part 3: The Holy Spirit Our Helper — Crosspoint  Church



Acts 16: 22-34;                       Ps 138: 1-3, 7-8;                     Jn 16: 5-11


Today’s first reading is an often-quoted text as an example to explain the power and effect of praise and worship. But the very purpose of the prayer of worship of Paul and Silas was not the miracle that happened in the Jail. The purpose of their prayer was to glorify the Lord. Prayer was their culture; thanksgiving in all circumstances was their declared policy of life. While preaching the gospel to the Philippians, Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, and thrown into prison. Instead of brooding over their suffering, they opted to give thanks to the Lord and glorify him. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God” (1Cor 10:31). “In all circumstances, give thanks to God” (1 Thess 5:16).

The Holy Spirit comes to liberate us through the medium of prayer: In the gospel, we have the promise of Jesus regarding the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Helper. We have the example in the first reading of how Jesus is faithful in sending the Helper to strengthen those who are persecuted while engaged in the ministry of the Kingdom of God. Paul and Silas were empowered by the Holy Spirit and towards the end of the Philippian jail episode, they are more powerful than those who judged and jailed them. The judges remained “frightened” (cf. Acts 16:38).

What was God’s purpose in performing this miracle at the prison? Paul, Silas and the fellow prisoners did not escape even after the gates were opened. In the morning, they were set free by the authorities (cf. v. 35) who even had to plead with Paul and Silas to go away from their town (cf. v. 39). The immediate effect of the miracle was the conversion of the Jailor. Secondly, the miracle provided the apostles with greater confidence in the providence of God. Thirdly, the miracle became a great encouragement for the believers to remain faithful to Christ even in the face of death.

Response: With your right hand you save me, O Lord.

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