John 10:10 - The True Abundant Life
Posted by Brad Quiring on August 11, 2017
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
This verse is often misused. We tell people that a true Christian MUST have good health and lots and lots of money, because, that is why Jesus came.”
The truly abundant life is found IN CHRIST. That true abundant life is salvation from our sins, God’s judgment and our separation from God, who is the source of life. Jesus gave his life to give us life, a life that is far beyond our temporary conditions here on the earth. That is the real abundant life.
John 10:7-10 (NKJV)
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
God’s people have often been referred to as sheep. And the leadership of God’s people have been compared to shepherds. It is no coincidence that the greatest leaders of Israel, Moses and David, were shepherds before taking on their roles as national leaders. John chapter 10 begins with Jesus addressing the Pharisees, the main group of religious and civic leaders of Israel. They were supposed to be the “shepherds” of God’s flock, His people.
So, Jesus works the image of the shepherd and the sheep to get his point across.
Therefore the “sheep” are those who believe in Jesus as the Only Saviour and Lord. The sheepfold represents God’s people. Jesus is the door – the entrance to God’s family.
In verse 8 Jesus refers to thieves and robbers who came before him. The leaders of the nation who cared not for the spiritual good of the people. They were false teachers who came to take the life of God’s people.
Remember, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees, this is part of a rebuke of their terrible morals and leadership of the people of Israel, God’s chosen people. “But the sheep did not listen to them”, means that the sheep who know the shepherd, those who have true faith in Jesus, do not listen to the alien voices and messages of those who do not believe in or obey God.
Therefore, know the true shepherd through knowing the Bible, so you can recognize God’s voice and God’s way in your life.
Jesus then describes himself as the entrance to the sheepfold, the only way in to God’s family and people. Anyone who enters through the authority and merits of Jesus is part of God’s true people. Those who are part of God’s people through Jesus Christ “will be saved” or, “will be kept safe”. This refers to the eternal salvation given by God to those who have faith in Jesus. It also refers to the spiritual safety faith in Jesus offers to those who believe and obey. With this security, we can go on with our daily lives and all the circumstances, whether good or bad.
Jesus is the only one who provides for all our daily needs: spiritual, physical and emotional.
Faith in Jesus alone is the key to our relationship with God. We find salvation and provision through Jesus for every area of our life.
Now we have some context and background so we can get to the key verse of the passage:
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The Thief is ultimately Satan, the Devil. In this lesson from Jesus, Satan is using false teachers to lead people away from the truth of God through Jesus. The motivation of these teachers is this: steal, kill and destroy with the purpose of stealing people’s spiritual life, by force if necessary. How?
- He compares them to those who sneak into places they are not supposed to be
- They destroy people’s confidence in God
- They contribute to confusion regarding the Bible and its message
- They cause division in relationships within the church
- They seek out personal gain from their positions of authority
- They do nothing to help those in need.
- In the end, the church, the body of followers of Jesus, is destroyed
Jesus has come with a purpose: To give abundant life to the church – the true followers of Jesus.
This life is a certainty of eternal, spiritual life because of the authority of Jesus, salvation from God’s eternal punishment, peace with God, and strength and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to deal with life. Not just have life to survive, but that we may have it more abundantly.
What is your perspective on this life?
This life on this planet is NOT the be-all, end-all. This is not our ultimate destiny. What we have here and what we hope for here on this earth in this life is not the final destination.
What Jesus offers is far greater than what is here and now.
This abundant life is experienced now, but always limited by the effects of sin on the world. The day will come when we experience the complete fullness of the abundant life when we are in Heaven with Jesus forever.
All this possible only through Jesus’ death for our sins and His resurrection from the dead.