by Mike Strunk
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The gospel of John is a remarkable book about our Savior who offers so much and seeks our highest good. In Jn 4 Jesus says, "Everyone who drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again." (Jn 4:13) In Jn 6:65 He goes on to to say that no one can come to the Father except through him. Revolutionary, challenging, and fulfilling statements indeed.
Finally, Jn 10 opens with the teachers of the Law around Christ as well as many of his disciples. Jesus uses the word pictures of the shepherd and sheep to illustrate, teach, and convict.
Jesus describes himself as "the door of the sheepfold" or sheep pen. More than just the door however, our Lord tells them he is "the shepherd of the sheep." By listening to the shepherd's voice and passing through the door to pasture, Jesus promises life and life abundantly. (Jn 10:1-11)
What does it mean to have the abundant life? God helps us here in his word by contrasting "the abundant life" with that of the life dominated over by "the thief." The thief only promises to steal, kill, and destroy those lives in his domain and under his control. (Jn 8:44) When Jesus speaks of life in abundance he is speaking of "perisson," a Greek term meaning "that which goes way beyond necessity."
As James Boice so aptly put it, "The abundant life is, therefore, one in which we are content in the knowledge that God’s grace is more than sufficient for our needs, that nothing can suppress it, and that God’s favor toward us is unending."
We find God's abundance manifesting itself in spiritual rest and peace with God, guidance by His word, security in the midst of trials and temptations, providing for life's provisions, and the complete assurance of a heavenly home.
We find abundance in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
(Jn 17:3) So, when you reflect on the baby in the manger during the Christmas season..... Remember Jesus was willing to set aside the "abundance" of heaven to be born of a virgin so that we may become "rich" in Him and enjoy abundant, eternal life through Him. (Jn 20:31) Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)