Family of Christ Lutheran Church
John 10:10 “Thieves come to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus spoke those words in the Good Shepherd chapter. He said that others who had come before him were thieves and robbers. They spoke God’s word but for the wrong reason, to make themselves more important, possibly even to enrich themselves. They were not interested in helping those who listened to them. Jesus on the other hand spoke God’s word to people so that they might learn to know God as a loving God, not a demanding God. Jesus backed up his statement by laying down his life, not just for a few people, but even for his enemies. Jesus was motivated by a love for his father and for all people. The motivation of a thief is to serve himself.
When Jesus then talks about the abundant life, he is obviously referring to something other than our physical life on Earth. The life with God, the relationship that we have with God now, is abundant. There is always more love then we can use, there is always more forgiveness than we will ever need. Through faith in Jesus we have eternal life, again abundant because it will never end and it will never become disappointing; it will be everlasting joy and peace. This is what Jesus promises as our good shepherd.
Jesus invites us to remember his promises when we hear so many other promises of a good life if we make a certain investment or follow a certain diet. We all have heard many such promises and they are appealing but those who make those promises do not back up their promise in the way that Jesus did. Easter happened only a few weeks ago, let the truth of Easter help us sort out the many promises that we hear and confirm our faith in the promise of Jesus.
Return to the 23rd Psalm again in your own devotions and read those words under the shadow of the cross and of the empty tomb of Jesus. That will make those ancient words so much more meaningful. They will provide an extra peace as you live the abundant life that our Lord and savior provides for us.
Elmer Schiefer, Pastor