I was rereading John 10 today (after hearing someone teaching this passage yesterday). I wasn’t able to get past by vss. 10-11. I noticed how the thieves throughout the chapter are trying to deceive the sheep. I am reminded in my own life of all of the deceptions. “Thieves” are often trying “steal, kill, and destroy” my joy, hope, and satisfaction in the true shepherd. Jesus, however, has come to give me a full life, an abundant life.
Two questions: What is an abundant life? How does the shepherd provide such a life?
The more I read this section, an abundant life is a life in relationship with Jesus. Like the psalmist, a person who lives a full life is able to say that “the nearness of God is good” (Psalm 73:28). A happy sheep, is a sheep in the presence, protection, and care of the shepherd. In the words of John Piper, “my satisfaction in Christ alone must run so deep that no pain can shake it and no pleasure can compete with it.”
How does such a satisfying and good life come to me? Through a shepherd who is good (v. 11). A shepherd who has sacrificed himself for me. Jesus is both the shepherd and the sacrificial lamb.
I am reminded of the over-quoted C. S. Lewis line from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:”
‘If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than me or else just silly.’
‘Then he isn’t safe?’ asked Lucy.
‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver. ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs. beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’