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. (Jn 10:10)
What did Jesus mean when He gave us this beautiful promise of the abundant life? And how in the world can I attain it? Is it for everyone—even me? Let’s see if we can study it together.
Whenever I am trying to understand the meaning of a verse, I do these things:
1. Read the verse again and its context
2. Read it in different Bible versions
3. Look up the word(s) in the original language
4. Read commentaries
5. Think about it prayerfully before and during doing all these things
Let’s go through each one of these briefly as we try to discover:
The meaning of “I came to give you life more ABUNDANTLY.”
Jesus spoke these words right after he healed the man who was born blind. The Pharisees were giving Him a lot of flak and Jesus responds with that infamous metaphor of the Good Shepherd. (see Jn 9:1 to Jn 10:21)
Versions (of ending phrase)
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Niv)
My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. (TLB)
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (NLT)
I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. (AMP)
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (MSG)
I came to bring them life, and far more life than before. (PHILLIPS)
I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness. (GNT)
Original language (Greek)
The idea portrayed here is: beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation, going past the expected limit, over and above, more than is necessary, super-added.
Barnes: “Literally, that they may have abundance, or that which abounds. The word denotes that which is not absolutely essential to life, but which is superadded to make life happy. They shall not merely have life – simple, bare existence – but they shall have all those superadded things which are needful to make that life eminently blessed and happy.”
The eternal life Jesus gives is not just how long we live, but the quality of that life, and it begins the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Our God is an above and beyond, exceeding our expectations (Eph 3:20), extremely generous Giver. He loves to shower His blessings on His obedient children. Our doting but wise heavenly Daddy knows how to give good gifts that satisfy our inner most being (Ps 103:5).
For now, that should be enough meat for you to chew on about what Jesus meant. I hope you will.
I know that this has been an atypical blog. However, my desire is to help you delve deeper into the treasures of the Scriptures for yourself. So many of us are guilty of letting others do all the work. We are spooned fed Christians, becoming lazy and fat; resulting in the inability to effectively apply liberating truths in the daily ordinary.
I hope to change that by encouraging you to put out some of the effort yourself.
Yes, please continue to listen to great messages and read blogs like mine, but don’t stop there! I promise you that the gems you dig up for yourself will be well worth it! The Holy Spirit is more than capable of guiding anyone—not just biblical scholars—into all truth (Jn 16:12). All you need is an open teachable heart and a little work.
Until next time my friends, go chew on these delicious truths where I’ll explain further what I believe Jesus meant when He said, “I came to give you life more abundantly.” Trust me—it gets juicier!
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.
Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society