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Jesus the Life Giver

John 10:10 (ESV) … “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

The thief (which symbolizes false messiahs) and the hired hand (which symbolizes corrupt religious leaders) have evil intentions. They seek to steal, and to kill, and to destroy the sheep. They care only about feeding themselves or making money off of the flock. Jesus pictured a heartless individual who began by taking all he could and then killing what he couldn’t have. Anything else he destroyed. God’s people, Israel, had suffered through more than their share of evil leaders, false prophets, and false messiahs (see, for example, Jeremiah 10:21–22; 12:10; Zechariah 11:4–17).

All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings and wantings.

C. S. Lewis


In contrast to the thief who takes life, Jesus gives life. The life he gives right now is abundantly richer and fuller. It lasts forever, yet it begins today. Life in Christ is on a higher plane because of his forgiveness, love, and guidance. Which would you rather face—the evil thief or the loving Shepherd?

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus gives abundant life to his sheep. This speaks of the gift of divine, eternal life, a life which becomes the possession of every believer for now and for eternity. Jesus would provide his sheep with this eternal life, and it would cost him his own life.


Jesus promised to provide abundant, or full life to the sheep. One of the first images that comes to mind is the cup described in Psalm 23:5, which is described as filled to overflowing by the shepherd who is the Lord. Abundance of life points to depth of living now and length of living in eternity. It is not only life as good as it can be, but also life beyond what we can imagine!

Jesus gave this full life to the blind man who had been abandoned by his parents and rejected by the religious system (see chapter 9). It is clearly not, however, a life that denies problems and pain. Rather, it is a life that faces them and makes use of them. Instead of letting us focus on the ups and downs of life, Jesus takes us deep into life itself, where there is a calm center even in the storm.

Later Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble” (16:33 NIV), thereby removing any last hopes that he was leading his followers into a life of guaranteed earthly happiness and prosperity. Even the beautiful pastoral scene Jesus described in this chapter does not allow us to forget the danger of thieves, the presence of death, and the daily hardships of coming in and going out. {1}

{1} Barton, B. B. (1993). John (pp. 209–210). Tyndale House.

In Christ & Friends Always,

Bro. Chris.

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