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)
Living life to the fullest. This is a dream for many people and seems well outside their reach. Others strive for it, filling their lives with all the toys, relationships, and adventure they can. But Jesus tells us that living life to the fullest is not just an unattainable dream. Nor is it found in the abundance of what this world offers. It can be found, but only in Jesus.
The discussion in this passage is about sheep, shepherds, and gates to the sheep pen. And much of that seems strange today. And the idea of being a sheep can be repulsive to us. It is not a very appealing image, especially to those looking to live life to the fullest.
But this is more about Jesus as my shepherd. A shepherd cares for the flock under his care, protecting them, providing them with food and water, and tending to their needs. A good shepherd will enable his sheep to live their best possible lives.
With Jesus as my shepherd, I will likely not have all that this world might have to offer. But I will have something much greater. I will have eternal life, knowing my creator and redeemer (Jn. 17:3). And I can have the assurance that regardless of what may come into my life, God will use it for my good (Rom. 8:28), working in my life to create his masterpiece (Eph. 2:10).
This fullness of life is described very well in the 23rd Psalm. And surely, Jesus had it in mind when he expressed that his sheep would live life to the fullest.