“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance”
We were not created merely to be safe. The human heart wants infinitely more than safety. Oh yes, safety is basic and necessary. We want to be protected from what can destroy us. We want life. But we want more than mere life. We want abundant life. Overflowing life. Deep life. Weighty life. Joyful life. We don’t just want to survive. We want to thrive at every level of our human being. We were made for this.
There is more to life than we know. Well, from our scripture, I want to lift few things said about life:
I. Life’s Taker——–V. 10A
Jesus, drawing from a familiar scene of shepherds on a hillside keeping watch over their sheep, said, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10). The job of the shepherd was to lead, protect, and feed the sheep. But, unfortunately, as in our day, there were thieves and robbers. They sought to take away the livelihood of Jewish shepherds.
Likewise, there are many avenues which we can travel that lead not to life but to destruction. You won’t find life in pleasure. You won’t find life in performance. You won’t find life in possessions. You won’t find life in position. You won’t find life in pursuits. These thieves masquerade as givers of life, but they can be dispensers of destruction, disease, and death.
II. Life’s Giver——–V. 10B
The truth is that life is not found in pleasure, performance, possessions, position, or pursuits; it is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus says time and time again that He is the giver of life, the author of life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). And later in John’s gospel He states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
But the most powerful statement He made regarding life was: “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10).
The “I” in this verse is emphatic, meaning that life is found in no other than Jesus. Life is entered by no other than Jesus Himself. When Jesus said He is the door of the sheep (John 10:7), He meant that the fold has only one entrance; life has one source; spiritual nourishment is obtained one way; heaven can be entered through one entrance. And the single means of access to all that is life is Jesus.
III. Life’s Blessings——–V. C
Now some people may say, wait a minute, don’t I already have life? Am I not breathing? Isn’t my heart pumping blood?
I would answer, yes, but not the life Jesus is referring to when He said “…and have it in abundance”. I think that when Jesus says in verse 10, “I came that they may have life and have it in abundance,” He means, “I came that they might be saved and go out and come and find pasture” — protection and plenty, solid safety, and deep soul satisfaction. Abundant life is not about having stuff. It’s about having peace, having joy, having God.
The life that Jesus gives is infinitely and eternally different than the life one possesses now. Through Jesus Christ, God was offering to us life not just good, but better, not just full, but fullest. We must be obedient and follow the Master. And when we do, what an abundant life that will be! Amen!
Pastor John Punni