When Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), what did He mean? This statement has been interpreted in various ways, but let’s take a closer look at its meaning.
The Context of the Statement
Before we delve into the meaning of Jesus’ statement, it’s important to understand its context. In John 10:1-18, Jesus speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.
He contrasts Himself with thieves and robbers who come to steal, kill, and destroy. In this context, Jesus’ statement about abundant life must be understood as a contrast to the spiritual death and destruction wrought by the devil.
The Meaning of Abundant Life
What is abundant life? Some interpret it as material prosperity or worldly success.
However, this interpretation doesn’t align with Jesus’ teachings elsewhere in the Bible. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus warns against storing up treasures on earth and advises us to store up treasures in heaven instead. In Matthew 16:26, He asks what profit there is in gaining the whole world but losing one’s soul.
So if abundant life isn’t about material possessions or worldly success, what is it? To understand this concept better, let’s look at some other statements Jesus made:
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)
- “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14)
- “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24)
These statements suggest that abundant life is related to eternal life. It’s a life that is lived in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
This life is characterized by spiritual abundance rather than material abundance. It includes:
- Peace with God (Romans 5:1)
- Forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7)
- Adoption into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5)
- The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
So how can we experience this abundant life that Jesus promised? It starts with faith in Him as our Savior and Lord. We must repent of our sins and trust in His finished work on the cross for our salvation.
But abundant life isn’t just a future hope. It’s something we can experience here and now as we walk in fellowship with God and obey His Word.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). As we seek to follow Him, we will experience the blessings of abundant life.
In conclusion, when Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, He was referring to a spiritual abundance that is found only in Him. This abundance includes peace with God, forgiveness of sins, adoption into His family, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit. As we trust in Him and obey His Word, we can experience this abundant life both now and for all eternity.