Christian, have you ever wondered why your life doesn’t look like what you had imagined it would? Perhaps you have heard that true Christians live a victorious, prosperous life that is blessed by God, without pain and sorrow? If so, then you are not alone.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” It is no stretch of the imagination that everybody desires to live a life of abundance. Anyone seeing this promise from Jesus might pause and compare their current lifestyle with the idea of abundance and surmise that they are not living the abundant life. This can cause discouragement, confusion and frustration as they then look for the answers of what is causing this lack of abundance.
My friends, it is possible to take verses in the Bible and completely take them out of context or assign definitions to words that were not intended. The writers of the Bible had a specific meaning in mind when they wrote. It is up to us to use the tools of Bible interpretation to determine the truth of the verse. Failure to do so will cause all kinds of confusion and false understanding.
In this passage, Jesus is talking about being the good shepherd. In verse 7, Jesus says that he is the door of the sheepfold and all who wish to be saved enter through him. In verse 9, the sheep move in and out and find pasture, the ultimate life for a sheep! Anyone else that comes for the sheep is a thief and wishes only to steal, kill and destroy. Also, mentioned are other shepherds who are called hired hands. They don’t really have a true interest in the flock and flee when trouble comes. In this, Jesus was directly referencing the Jewish religious leaders in the audience. They didn’t really appreciate the criticism.
The true meaning of this passage is “true, abundant life is what Jesus alone provides for the sheep in contrast to the thief and the hired hand who steal, kill, destroy and abandon the flock.”
The rules and regulations of the religious leaders bound the Jews to a life that was less than abundant, and Jesus was saying in contrast, that life through him would be full to overflowing. Note, the context is not riches or comfort, but true life in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
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Blog by Franz Martens of CrossWay International Baptist Church. Published on 8. May 2020 from Berlin, Germany. Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash.