Living an Abundant Life? – Jesus’ Claim

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

   — Jesus, Jn. 10:10

What do Jesus words mean to you?  What does His claim mean for your ministry?

To answer those questions you need to first understand just what He is saying.

Context:  John 10 begins laying the groundwork for Jesus’ claim with an analogy about how the gate is the only legitimate way into the sheep pen.  Then He asserts, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

Thieves and robbers try to get in by other ways to steal or destroy the sheep.  They don’t care about the sheep other than profiting off of them.  In contrast, Jesus, who later in the chapter is identified as the Good Shepherd, protects and provides for the sheep.

Against this backdrop Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”


“I” refers to the One who is the Gate, the way in.  Remember what Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

“I” refers to the Good Shepherd, who cares for the sheep like none other and ultimately laid His life down for the sheep.

This same Jesus, is also the King of kings and Lord of lords.  He is God in the flesh, identified in John 1 as “the Word” who was from the beginning, was with God, and was God.  “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

If Jesus, being God Himself, was able to create the world, certainly He is able to deliver the abundant life He came to give.  He is someone who can back up His claim.

“have come”
This refers to Jesus’ first coming wherein He ultimately died on the cross to make it possible for us to enter into a relationship with God.
There was a reason for Jesus’ coming.  In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  John 10:10 takes that verse a step further.
Jesus came for the sheep who needed a Shepherd (Mk. 6:34).  These are people for whom He has compassion who are “harassed and helpless” (Matt. 9:36).  Each of the individual sheep matter to Him (Lk. 15:4-7).
“may have”
The word “may” indicates that they are able to have life.  Jesus made the reality of this kind of life possible.  Also notice that it says “have” — present tense, not “will have.”  This is not simply a future hope but a present reality.
Jesus gave lost sheep the ability to live, truly live.  Without Christ we are living in death, eternal separation from God — nothingness.  He, however, came so that we may have eternal life, His life in us — something of great value and meaning.
“and have it to the full”
Jesus came not just to give life but fullness of life  — a vibrant, flowing life, not a trickle of it or an occasional flow.  Nothing is stagnant about this life but rather energized and going somewhere.  Be sure to note that He is not saying He came to give a problem-free life but a full life.  In John 16:33 Jesus warns that “in this world you will have trouble.”  Part of what it means to have an abundant, full life, then, is that even in a world filled with troubles, you can have joy and be content and at peace because He goes on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Now that you have taken a closer look at the verse, let me again ask — What do Jesus words mean to you?  What does His claim mean for your ministry?

In the next post we’ll look at the difference this abundant life makes.  You can subscribe to this blog to receive e-mail updates of new posts.

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3 thoughts on “Living an Abundant Life? – Jesus’ Claim

  1. i have gone through your teaching through the web. i have been interested with your message and i want to get some more knowledge and equipping. while we have a new church here in malawi, my vision is to make disciple of jesus christ so that as we are going on with the favour of our lord, they will go also and preach the gospel of our lord jesus christ. may god bless you all.

    • May God indeed use you to make disciples of Jesus Christ. I pray God will use the resources you have been able to read on the site as tools to further His work there.

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