I have been challenged to post my favorite verse on Facebook. This task is very difficult for me, because the Bible is filled with many great truths. Many of these truths have been significant to me, but at this time John 10:10 would be my favorite (but by tomorrow, I could have another one). John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Honestly, I love the entire chapter of John 10. In John 10, Jesus declares himself to be the good shepherd and implies that we are his sheep. I encourage you to consider the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep during Bible times. The sheep were completely dependent on the shepherd. The shepherd provided food, shelter, protections, and anything else a sheep would need.
John 10 also teaches that the thief comes to take away the good things the shepherd provides. I believe one of thief’s tactics is to lie to us and discourages us. One lie that I often hear myself saying, “Life is hard, and if it isn’t one thing it is another.” There is some truth to this, but Jesus didn’t come to give us a hard life with lots of problems. He came not only to give us life, but an abundant life. The Greek word for “abundant” is defined as “pertaining to a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate—‘that which is more than, more than enough, beyond the norm, abundantly, superfluous.”1
Jesus came to give life that is beyond the norm. Sometimes, the thief tries to convince us that this “considerably more than we expect life” will come after death, but Jesus does not say that we have to wait. He is giving it to us now. And all that Jesus expects is for us to be dependent sheep following his voice.
I want to be your sheep, following you. Please, lead me to life, a life better than I anticipate. Help me to recognize the thief’s lies and focus on your truths.
1Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 598–599.