As you read this morning’s scripture, notice Jesus didn’t say that he came in order that people would have an abundance. Jesus came so that we would have “life” abundantly. Materialism only leads us away from God and one another. It is a lonely life, an isolated life. Jesus warns us about those thieves and robbers who would steal our life away. Those who prey upon others will use any trick conceivable to snatch people away from God’s hand. Jesus’ teaching puts us on guard against such adversaries.
The Good Shepherd text is sandwiched in between Jesus restoring eyesight to the blind and the raising of Lazarus. God wants us to “see” correctly what abundant life is. Abundant life is trusting that God will guard and care for his people. It means understanding that he has mercy for all who call upon Christ’s name. Abundant life means understanding that we live in the assurance of God’s love, and not even death has the power to separate us from him.
Focusing on the life we have in Christ Jesus, we can enjoy life in fellowship and love with God’s family of faith. It is seeing Jesus for who he is, realizing him as the Good Shepherd who lays his life down for the sake of the sheep. Through him only is there forgiveness, mercy and abundant life in God’s kingdom forever.
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, accept our thanks and praise, for through you we have life abundantly. Amen.