Daily encouragement

Video by

Kat Brown

ACF Devo Team

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John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Behind the Scenes

John 10 drops us right in the middle of a dramatic encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees. When we turn back to John 9, we find the confrontation instigated by Jesus’ healing of a blind man. When neighbors first ask the blind man who healed him, he answers, “The man called Jesus” (John 9:11). When the Pharisees first question him about Jesus’ identity, the man tells them, “He is a prophet” (John 9:17).

As the narrative progresses though, we see the formerly blind man’s descriptions of Jesus become more personal. During his second round of questioning by the Pharisees, he boldly states, “Whether [Jesus] is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). After this interrogation, Jesus himself approaches the man with a question: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man asks who that is, to which Jesus replies, “You have seen him.” At this, the man declares his belief and worships Jesus (John 9:37-38).

“You have seen him.” Jesus could have answered the man’s question of, “Who is he?” by simply saying, “I am.” Jesus actually uses the phrase “I am” many times in the book of John, but he doesn’t here. Instead, to a man born blind, Jesus answers, “You have seen him.” This statement becomes even more meaningful when we read the very next words of Jesus, this time speaking to the Pharisees: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind” (John 9:39).

Make it Real

Our key verse today is John 10:10, in which Jesus proclaims, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” But we just heard Jesus say eleven verses earlier, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” In this one scene, Jesus provides two different explanations for the purpose of his coming to Earth. Another “why Jesus came” verse, probably the most famous one, is also found in the book of John. In John 3:16, we read Jesus came so that “whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

What we learn from this story and see confirmed throughout the book of John is that spiritual sight, abundant life, and eternal life aren’t three different reasons Jesus came. They are three different ways of describing one reality: the reality of the new life Jesus came to offer us. Jesus himself explains this in his prayer for his disciples in John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life isn’t something that begins when we die; eternal life is something we enter into when we see Jesus for who he is.

The blind man’s understanding of who Jesus was grew from simply knowing Jesus’ name, to acknowledging he was a spiritually significant person, to declaring the work of Jesus in his life, to ultimately believing in and worshiping him. He had already received physical sight, but in this moment of belief, his spiritual eyes were opened to the reality of Jesus’ identity. This moment of belief is the beginning of eternal life: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).

We could synthesize John 3:16, 5:24, 9:39, 10:10, and 17:3 and come up with a statement like this: Jesus came to give sight to the blind, that by knowing him, we might not perish but have eternal life–starting now and lasting forever–and have it abundantly. Eternal, abundant life is a life of spiritual sight, where we move into ever deeper personal acquaintance with Jesus. Do you desire a more abundant life? Then your prayer needs to be that you would know Jesus more deeply, or as Paul put it to the Ephesians, that you would have “the eyes of your heart enlightened” (Eph. 1:18).

End in Prayer

Paraphrased excerpts from Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1:18-19 & 3:14-21: Father in Heaven, according to the riches of your glory, please give me the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of you. Please open the eyes of my heart so I can see the hope to which you have called me and the immeasurable greatness of your power in me. I want to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge; I want to be filled with all your fullness. To you, who are able to do far more abundantly than all that I ask or think, to you be glory throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Written by

Hailey Schroeder

ACF Devo Team