In the Gospel of John, we read; “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 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. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:7–11) Jesus states the truth that He is the one who will give those who trust and are loyal to Him, to those who come by Him, eternal life. This is a picture of assurance and hope under the protection of the good shepherd, (See Psalm 23:1) who desires the best for His sheep. He will protect them at all costs, including His own life.
He also says this life He gives us, is an abundant life. The problem is we think of abundance as a lot of “stuff.” The idea of having a “plethora” of possessions, as it were. However is that really what Jesus is saying here? “Follow me and you will have lots of stuff.” Absolutely not. This is in the context of eternal life. As Christians, we know that this world is not our home. The writer to the Hebrews says; “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:13–14 ESV, emphasis added) The writer is saying, “This world, and the stuff in it, is not our real home.” Paul writes; “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:17–21)
Could you imagine if this life was all there ever would be? But it is not. In all the pain, hurt, and difficulty this life has to dole out, we know we have a good, I might add great, Shepherd. Jesus, the one who cares so deeply for us. He gave His life that we may also be partakers of His abundant and eternal life full of love, joy, and peace even right now. Unlike the thief who comes for selfish reasons, Jesus came to die selflessly for us. Our abundant life begins the instant we come to Christ by faith and receive Him as our Savior. Jesus said; “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) It seems from this prayer of Jesus, that any life is an abundant one when it is filled with a personal relationship with our creator God. This is knowing God, by seeking to be in a relationship with our redeeming King. Healthy theology is a relational pursuit of God, not just knowing about Him, whereas we can find unhealthy theology as an intellectual pursuit only. When it comes to an abundant life, Jesus makes not one claim to the length of days, health, stacks of wealth, full barns, lands, flocks, vineyards, family, or job. Simply knowing God through Jesus is the key to a truly abundant life here and now. It is also the blessed promise of an eternally blessed life with God that is yet to come. Paul references Isaiah 64:4 when he writes; “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…’” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
So, hang in there! Our King Jesus has lost one of His own.