10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
History and Context:
The book of John is the fourth Gospel and it is believed to be the last written. John was one of the inner three of Jesus' disciples and referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved". John seemed to have written his Gospel for those who had already known the story of Jesus. He focuses on the meaning of the events rather than the events themselves. There is also a strong focus on the words and teachings of Jesus, specifically on Jesus' claims about Himself. These claims are best known as the seven "I am" statements. John probably wrote this Gospel in Ephesus somewhere around 70 AD.
This statement comes right between two of Jesus' "I am" statements. Just before in verse seven Jesus says, "I am the door of the sheep..." Then just after in verse eleven Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd..." So Jesus' statement contrasting the thief's goals with His own is still in the analogy of the sheep and the shepherd. Jesus is our shepherd protecting us from the thief, but it is still our choice who we follow. Do we follow the thief towards destruction, or do we follow the good shepherd unto abundant life? There are only two choices. Do we choose life or do we choose death? Jesus has made it clear what the enemies intent is and has also made it clear what His own intent is. If we believe Him and trust Him then it should be clear which way we go.
One thing that Jesus made clear here is that it is not His will for us to simply live. He said that He has come to bring us life, but He didn't stop there. He has come to give us abundant life. Abundant means: "Existing or available in large quantities; plentiful". Do you see yourself in abundant life, or are you just getting by? So many Christians today are just getting by. It's time for us to stop just getting by and live in the abundance that He has for us. It's time for us to start following the life that He has for us rather than our own plans. It is in our own plans that we open of doors for the thief. It is in barely getting by that we find our dreams and goals destroyed and it is without dreams or goals, or vision, that we perish and we find death.
Lord, I'm tired of just getting by. I'm tired of barely making it. I want to step into the life that you have for me! Help me to make that decision today and every day! In Jesus' name, Amen!