Friday, June 12, 2015
Life More Abundantly - Short Study on John 10:10
Whenever John 10:10 is quoted, it's usually just the first half about Satan, or the last half about Christ. It's not often you hear the entire verse quoted together. But the Lord showed me recently in my personal study time that this Scripture is meant to reflect what Satan does compared to what the Lord does. It is meant to be read as a whole, to compare and contrast the enemy verses the Lord.
Let's break it down -
The thief does not come except to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY.
The Lord comes that they MAY HAVE, LIFE, MORE ABUNDANTLY
The opposite of steal would be to give. When our Lord says they "may have", He's referring to the gift of His salvation. Not necessarily "will have", because some people don't become Christians. Therefore He comes that they "may have" this gift.
The opposite of kill is to give life. Christ does give life, as He IS the Life. So while the thief wants to steal and kill, the Lord has come to give the gift of Life.
The opposite of destroy is more abundantly. To destroy something is to pull it down, wreck it, demolish, obliterate, or ruin it. To have something in abundance is to have plenty of it, it is lavished upon you, bountiful, copious, and plentiful.
Notice how the words are all present tense. Kill, steal, destroy - these are ongoing, they are in the here and now. He has not "stolen, killed, and destroyed", it is what the thief continues to do. When the Lord gives His rebuttal, His words are present tense as well. May have instead of "have had". Life that's ongoing and eternal, rather than one that can be killed. And more abundantly instead of "in abundance". It assumes a continuance of the abundance - "more abundantly" - as if the abundance is an ever-flowing fountain.
The Lord gives us life, and not just life, but life more abundantly. A better life than these 70-80 years on earth. A life that continues on into eternity. A life with blessings that never end (Ephesians 1:3).
The Lord also does not say "can have life", but rather, "may have life". If you're like me, you probably had those parents or teachers in school who made you say "may I" instead of "can I" when asking a question. We CAN do a lot of things. But the real issue is MAY we do them? We do not mean to ask if we have the ability to do something, rather, we're asking if we have permission.
Here, Christ is saying we MAY have life - if we ask Him, He is willing. He allows anyone who comes to Him to have Life in His name (John 20:31).
The Lord says that He comes that "they" might have life. Who are "they"? In context of John 10, the Lord says He is the Good Shepherd. "They", therefore, are His sheep. Only His sheep may have life more abundantly. Only those who know His voice. Only those whom Christ knows and who knows Christ in return.
Also notice the wording regarding the thief - he does NOT come, except to steal, kill, destroy - while Christ says, "I HAVE COME that they may have life more abundantly". This properly outlines the agendas of each - the thief's only goal is for mayhem and destruction. He does not come for any other purpose than to tear down. The Lord's goal, however, is to give life more abundantly, to build up, and pour out blessings. Not only that, He HAS come for that exact reason, meaning, He has come for a specific purpose - to give His sheep abundant life.
These two opposing agendas also outline the motives behind each - those who hate, will kill and destroy. Those who love, shall give life and build up. Christ is showing us that He came for a purpose, to give us life - which saves us from the thief and proves His love for us. He has also given us the proper perspective to view both Him and the thief. Destruction, death, and theft are all of the Devil while blessings and the abundant life are from Christ.
One more thing about this passage - while the enemy certainly does carry out these atrocities in the world today, I believe Yeshua was being a little more abstract with His words. We gain life everlasting from our understanding of the Gospel and our eyes opening to the truth of Scripture. Once we know how to be born again, we can therefore approach the Throne of Grace. When the enemy comes to "steal, kill, and destroy", I believe the Lord subtly meant that Satan will steal our joy, kill our love, and destroy our passion for Christ if we do not guard our hearts.
Be careful, brethren. The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 2:8). Guard your heart with your shield of faith and your breastplate of righteousness! If you are a sheep of the Good Shepherd, do not hang around with the wolves. Seek the abundant life that comes from above; seek what Christ Himself has come to give you!
Do you know Yeshua?
Does He know you?