28 August 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 10:6-10 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:6-10 NLT)
"I am the gate for the sheep…Those who come in through me will be saved.” Think about what Jesus meant when he says, “They will be saved.” Our Christian culture grabs the idea of “They will be saved from hell when they die,” and misses the point Jesus was making. Jesus was saying, “They will be saved from small thinking, selfishness, fear, bitterness, hatred, hopelessness, and purposelessness. Salvation begins as soon as they begin to follow me. They will come and go freely and find good pastures. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
“All who came before me were thieves and robbers…The thief’s purpose is to steal, and kill, and destroy.” We nearly always make Satan the thief in the story. Jesus says, “All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.” A case can be made for Jesus’ statement in verse 10 to refer to Satan, but I think we’re missing the context in which he’s just been dealing with the Pharisees and teachers of religious law. 46 “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden…52 “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” (Luke 11:46, 52 NLT)
The teachers of religious law were stealing the rich and satisfying life that Jesus came to offer. Satan is a thief who steals, kills, and destroys, and so also is anyone or anything who steals from us the riches of Kingdom of God life, who kills the hope and simple trust we have in Jesus, and who destroys our peace and our purposefulness as Jesus-followers!
Father, Please keep us aware of the false teachers and wrong systems that keep people from the rich and satisfying life that you offer us in Jesus Christ. Don’t let us be robbed of our freedom, our joy, and our Kingdom of God purpose. For the Kingdom’s Sake!