The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
In reading this verse there is a lot to be said about the first part of the stanza, the element about the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. As important as it is to understand this and think about it, the last part of this verse is imperative too. As Christ was talking with this group of people He mentions that He had come that “they” may have life, and can have it to the fullest.
Have you ever wondered who “they” are; it seems to be a mystery that no one is able to solve. “They” say we can’t walk on the grass, it’s “they” that make up the dress-code at work, it’s “they” who create the foundation that tells us what we can or cannot do and how to do it. Like a second nature we do it simply because “they” said so.
So what about the “they” in this verse, is it the people that Jesus was talking to at the time? No, looking at the surrounding circumstances Jesus was talking to the Pharisees who were trying to oust a previously blind man out of the synagogue that Jesus had healed. People who definitely needed to hear what Jesus had to say but that wasn’t the “they” He was talking about. Christ was referring to His sheep, followers, the people entering through the gate to Heaven that He was providing, we the believers are the “they,” He was speaking of.
Now that that’s clarified we need to ask ourselves another question, “Are “they” listening?” We are told that we can have a full life and yet we ignore it like it’s no big deal, something that would be nice but we fail to go after it.
Some feel that being a Christian takes away from having any kind of a life because of all the rules they have to follow that keeps them from having the abundant life they measure to be full, looking at a jam-packed life as something that is surrounded with the things they love such as family, friends, sports, success, wealth, and so much more.
They turn Christ into the thief instead of the one who adds to our life with something to give worth holding on to. Unlike the bandit, Christ’s interest is different; Satan would rather rob us of all we have or could have but because of Christ’s love for His sheep He came that we may have life to the fullest.
Indeed we are the ones that hold the knob on the spigot that regulates our degree of fullness by our attitude and our level of obedience to the commandments God gives us to live by. To tap into this abundant life we must live as if we have nothing to prove, hide or lose, living for God and Him alone as we allow His word to do more than tickle our ears as it penetrates all areas of our life whether it has to do with our family, spending habits, eating habits, finances, work, pleasures or whatever.
Physically people don’t often know when they are full and since they never stop eating they don’t recognize when they are empty or hungry either bringing on the consequences of obesity. The fast food restaurants are not to blame or anyone else, only themselves. Since we are the ones that control the level of fullness that’s available to all in Christ we need to learn to distinguish when we are running on empty or full in our walk with Him. Unlike getting physically full the nice thing about being spiritually full is there are no consequences, the cost only occurs when we fail to fill our lives with Christ.
Our life was paid for in full by Christ, It’s up to us to live it to the fullest in Him!
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for this life that you have to offer for all who want to participate in its splendor. Help us Lord to get our fill of Christ as we study Your word, walk in Your path, and live as You would want us to live with our eyes on Jesus, running on full! Amen.
© 2007 by Karen J. Gillett