Jesus Offers Us Abundant Life
This year’s winner of the Master’s Tournament was Scottie Scheffler. This young 25 year old newbie to the tour has risen to the top of the rankings and putting on the prized green jacket.
Cooper Kupp has a few years on Scheffler in another competitive sport. He led the NFL last year in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. His team also won the Super Bowl.
Both of these athletes are believers and to some degree are celebrated by the church. You see, we want Christians to succeed and maybe think we deserve to succeed. Is that what Jesus promised us in John 10?
Many Jews missed Jesus as the Messiah because He didn’t arrive in all the celebrated ways. He wasn’t born in a castle and wasn’t a part of the major religious schooling. He had some success by having a large following but still died on a cross. How does this fit into the abundant life He promises?
Does Abundant Life Mean Eternal Life?
Many people do realize that the abundant life Jesus offers is not some sort of success pass. However, often the only other explanation discussed about this abundant life is that we get to go to heaven. We then paraphrase John 10:10 with the devil will give you troubles all through your life, but Jesus offers you eternal life with Him once you die.
While we can find comfort in our ticket to heaven, but there is not much hope in this for the current life in which we live.
This is what is difficult with finding a verse that is referenced often. We think we know what it means and don’t often go back and look at it in context. With that said, let’s look at what Jesus is saying that leads him to this quote.
Biblical Study of the Abundant Life Jesus Offers
John 10 starts with a comparison of two type of people that enter the sheep pen. If they enter through the gate, they are the shepherd; if they don’t enter through the gate, they are a thief or robber.
The second comparison is how the sheep respond to someone speaking. If they hear the shepherd’s voice, the sheep follow him; if they hear the voice of another, they run away.
Jesus later declares that He is the good shepherd and His sheep know His voice. Jesus also declares to be the gate, and that His sheep come in and go out to find pasture.
While He does say through Him we will be save, this coming in and going out seems to be more present than just something for when we die. Also the listening to His voice and following Him additionally point to something more active than just a one-time event.
I have written a short book, Abundant Living, for people to learn how to experience more of God’s joy over them. Jesus has such great ideas for us if only we knew how to catch them. You can get this book on Amazon as either an ebook or as a paperback.
What is the Abundant Life Jesus Offers?
So, what is it that Jesus is offering to us? From the context of this passage, Jesus is offering us His leading in life. As our shepherd, He will lead us to the provisions we need and the protection from our harms. We just need to listen to His voice.
In my opinion, we need to teach every new Christian how to hear the voice of God. Jesus says in this passage that a sign of all of us that are His is to know His voice. He will lead us, and when we hear the voice of the enemy, we are to run from it. Our lives have purpose and direction as we stay inclined to His voice. This is how we abide in Him (John 15:4) and how we keep our minds set on things above. Jesus wants to lead us to all that He has for us (Colossians 3:1-2).
Our abundance is not in fancy things or accolades of men. We may receive them, and there is nothing wrong with Scottie Scheffler or Cooper Kupp doing well. However our abundance is in the fruit of the Spirit that fills our lives.
- It is the peace that comes from knowing that all things work together for them that love God (Romans 8:28).
- It is the joy that comes from knowing that God loves me and wants to be with me (Romans 8:38-39).
- It is the self-control knowing that I was created in advance for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
- It is the patience knowing that if God is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31).
- It is the kindness knowing that it was His kindness that led us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Life has meaning and we get to walk in line with the Creator of it all. That is abundant living. That is fullness of life. I pray that is what each of us experience daily.