Today, I want us to go back and read the whole passage from John 10:10-16. Ask the Lord to reveal to you truth He wants you to know. Read it aloud if you can.
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Our focus verse is verse 10. Let’s re-read it now.
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.
Abundant Life … such a beautiful phrase often tossed around in the language of Christianese, but what is it? According to my computer dictionary the word abundant is an adjective which means: existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.
It means having plenty of something.
God wants to give you life and give you plenty of it. He wants to give you overflowing life, so richly blessed that it overflows to others around you. He wants to rid you of all that is dead and rotting in your life. He invites you to rid yourself of grave clothes. Why? Because He has made us People of Life. Abundant, overflowing LIFE!
It is important to note that abundant life is for believers. What is the heading of the scripture passage? It is THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP. These are the secrets of the Kingdom, which we gain access to when we become believers.
So, when Jesus says he came so that we may have abundant life, it means he came to give us life in large quantities, it means we can have plenty of life. But what does this mean practically?
It might be helpful to look at this from a different direction. Let’s ask ourselves what abundant is NOT.
- Abundant Life is NOT equal to material wealth.
- Abundant Life is NOT equal to the approval of man.
- Abundant Life is NOT a picture-perfect life.
- Abundant Life is NOT found when everything is going just as we want it to—because life on this earth will never be exactly just the way we want it.
For the next few days we are going to break it down further and remember what abundant life is NOT so we can clear our minds and hearts to receive all that abundant life IS. Pray that the Good Shepherd would help you understand the gifts of abundant life He longs for you to receive. Read once again what it means when the Lord is your shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Amen and amen! I am praying for you, friends!