We make good and true rules, and then, when the future comes, I dare say things do not work out exactly as we want them to. We are disappointed, we are cast down. We must wait for God to work in His own way. We must not hurry Him; we must leave all to Him. See, in the world of nature, the patient farmer casts the seed to the ground, he waits till the precious weeks are past; he may be disappointed, but he trusts.
So surely we must trust God. We must trust Him as He has given this life to us, that it will increase more and more day by day. What must I do with this great gift of life? Use it in the life that I live upon earth, wherever it is lived, to glorify God? Is that all? God forbid! Go forth with the power of it, and bring some hope and consolation to those who know it not. That surely is the work of those who realise that they have the gift of life: that they go forth and use it.
And nothing, if they will, shall conquer it, because to limit its power would be to limit the power of God. The will of Christ is the law of my life. The presence of Christ is the joy of my life. The glory of Christ is the crown of my life. Bibliography Nisbet, James. Church Pulpit Commentary. The thief cometh not but for to steal ] However so sly heretics seek to insinuate with their pithanology and feigned humility, whereby they circumvent and beguile the simple, it is deadly dealing with them.
Shun their society as a serpent in your way, as poison in your food. Spondanus the same that epitomized Baronius gives his reader Popish poison to drink so slyly, saith one, as if he were doing somewhat else, and meant no such matter. Perniciosissimum Hildebrandinae doctrinae venenum lectoribus ebibendum, quasi aliud agens, propinat.
And learned Billius observes the like of Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, a cunning Novatian. Muzzle them therefore, saith St Paul, and give them no audience. Placilla the empress, when Theodosius, senior, desired to confer with Eunomius the heretic, dissuaded her husband very earnestly; lest, being perverted by his speeches, he might fall into heresy. Anastasius II, Bishop of Rome, in the year , while he sought to reduce Acacius the heretic, was seduced by him.
Soremen, vii. A little leaven soon soureth the whole lump. One spoonful of vinegar will quickly tart a great deal of sweet milk, but a great deal of milk will not so soon sweeten one spoonful of vinegar. Error saith a noble writer is like the Jerusalem artichoke; plant it where you will, it overruns the ground and chokes the heart. Bibliography Trapp, John. John Trapp Complete Commentary.
The gift of the Spirit of life dwells in those who are united to Christ in a fulness more abundant than was ever revealed before. And the gift of life is not a power, a principle, but a very true Person dwelling in us. This is the regeneration for which all ages waited till the Word was made flesh—the new birth of water and of the Spirit, of which the baptism of Christ is the ordained sacrament.
Here, then, we see a part of this great promise. In one word, it is the fulness of life given to us by the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost, which Christ by His indwelling has bestowed upon us. And besides this, the gift of life is abundant, not only in its fulness, but in its continuance.
We cannot die in our Head, because He is life eternal; nor can we die in ourselves, except we cast out the Giver of life who is in us. Our first head fell, and drew us with him into the grave; our second Head is in heaven, and "our life is hid with Him in God. If sinners die eternally, they die one by one, of their own free choice, even as Adam. And we die now no more by single acts of disobedience, but only by a resolved and deliberate course of sinning. This reveals to us the wonderful love and miraculous longsuffering of Christ, and of the Spirit who dwells in us.
Where once He enters, there He abides with divine endurance. Let us draw from what has been said one or two practical truths of great importance in our daily life. We were united to Christ by the presence of the Holy Spirit from our baptism. There has never been a moment, from the first dawn of consciousness, from the first twilight of reason and the first motions of the will, when the Spirit of life has not been present with us.
The working of the Spirit is, so to speak, co-extensive with our whole moral being. He presides over all the springs of thought, word and deed, by His gracious presence endowing us with power and will to mortify sin and to live in holiness. What, then, is our life but the presence of the Spirit dwelling in us? Assuming inequalities of power to reign through every department of life, from the lowest to the highest, what I gather from Jesus' words is this, that God is not satisfied with any lower form of vitality where a higher can be attained, and that it has been one design of the Gospel to intensify human life, if I may so say, through every region of it; not to damp, impair or enfeeble a man's life-powers at all, but on every side to exalt them.
The Son of God visited us in our far-off and, spiritually speaking, half-dead world, to make ours a more abundant life, as though He had come to bring a spiritual sunshine with Him, or had swept us with Himself into the regions of eternal day. First of all, I think this has come true even in the ordinary and natural experiences of men. The effect of Christianity has not been to deaden men to the interests of this life, with its common joys and sorrows, but, on the contrary, to render our earthly life larger and more intense.
The world itself is surely a graver, vaster thing since Jesus Christ died upon it. Common business rises in importance when by it you have the task set you to glorify your Saviour and serve your brother men. Our little life, obscure or petty as it may be, is no longer as a landlocked lake, set by itself apart; but, lo! In the second place, Jesus Christ makes life to His disciples a more abundant thing by conferring upon us a new sort of life, and one which has fuller pulses and a deeper and stronger vitality about it than merely natural or unregenerate men can possess.
The experiences of Christian—that is, spiritual life—are more intense than those of nature, because they are awakened in the new-born soul by a far grander and more mighty class of of facts and relationships; eternity is vaster than time, God mightier than the world. Unregenerate men touch time and the world; we, if we are Christ's, touch God and eternity. A man's conversion to God adds a fresh region, a new department, to his being; it gives him new thoughts, it quickens in him new emotions, it begets new motives, it sets before him new ambitions. The new life must be a fuller one, a deeper one, than the old, giving birth to thoughts more grave, feelings more deep,—in a word, "life more abundant.
References: John Stevenson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. Beecher, Ibid. Short, Ibid. Dawson, Sermons on Disputed Points, p. Tucker, Penny Pulpit, No. Mellor, In the Footsteps of Heroes, p. Bibliography Nicoll, William R. They assumed the character of teachers divinely commissioned, for no other reason but to promote their own interest, at the expence of their souls: whereas I am not come merely to give you life, but to give it more abundantly than it is given by Mosesin the dispensation of the law.
Bibliography Coke, Thomas. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. THE parables of our blessed Lord, though exceedingly clear and striking, lose much of their force by reason of the difference of our habits from those which obtained amongst the Jews. For instance, the office of a shepherd, though simple in itself, was widely different in Canaan from that which men are called to discharge in our land.
In Canaan, where there were beasts of prey, it was attended with danger; and a man was often called to expose his own life for the protection of his flock. Such was the office which Christ undertook for us: only, instead of endangering his own life for the preservation of ours, he actually laid down his life, in order that we might obtain life.
The extent to which he has accomplished it—. With more abundant evidence than was enjoyed under the Mosaic dispensation—. It is surprising how little is spoken of eternal life in the Old Testament, and especially of the resurrection of the body to a participation of it. And the access which men had to God was very distant.
No one could offer sacrifice, except through the instrumentality of the priest; nor could any one but the High Priest go into the holy of holies; and he only on one day in the year; nor could even he go then, without the blood of his sacrifice. In a more abundant measure than it would ever have been enjoyed, if man had never fallen—. Let not any of you, then, be satisfied without this light—. I charge you, then, be in earnest; and, whilst the invitations of the Gospel are yet sounding in your ears, go to this good Shepherd, and seek from him the life which he has come from heaven to bestow — — —].
Let not any be satisfied with a small measure of life—. Bibliography Simeon, Charles. Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. I have come to the sheep , etc. By this new antithesis, in which Christ contrasts Himself , and not again the shepherd appointed through Him, with the thief, the way is prepared for a transition to another use of the figure which represents Him no longer as the door from John onwards , but as the true Shepherd Himself Matthew ; Hebrews ; 1 Peter Compare the promise in Exodus ; Exodus , in contrast to the false shepherds in Ezekiel ff.
Incorrectly Vulgate, Chrysostom, Euth. John ; Xen. Bibliography Meyer, Heinrich. There follow worse things. A thief, 1 steals for the sake of his own advantage: 2 he inflicts loss on others, a by killing the sheep, b by destroying the remainder of their food.
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Bibliography Bengel, Johann Albrecht. Look as it is with the true shepherd, that owneth the sheep, and whose the flock is; he cometh regularly into the care and conduct of it; he cometh into the sheepfold, to take care of the life and welfare of his sheep: but a thief and a robber, that climbeth into the window, and so gets into the sheepfold, he comes not there out of any good will to the sheep, but merely, by destroying the sheep to provide for himself.
But that is not my end in coming into the world: I am not come to destroy them, but to save them; I am come, that they might have a spiritual life, and at last eternal life; that they might live the life of grace here, and not fail of the life of glory hereafter; and not only that they may barely live, but that their life may abound, through the upholdings, strengthenings, quickenings, and comfortings of my holy and gracious Spirit; that my beloved may not only drink, but drink abundantly; not only live, but live abundantly furnished with all the affluences and accommodations of a spiritual life.
Bibliography Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John ". The thief ; one who takes the emoluments of the sacred office without performing its spiritual duties, and seeks his own aggrandizement, not the salvation of souls. Bibliography Edwards, Justin. American Tract Society. Just as John refers back to John , so this refers back to John It is the same allegory more fully expounded. I came that they may have life, and that they may have abundance.
This is the point of transition from the first part of the allegory to the second.
The figure of the Door, as the one entrance to salvation, is dropped; and that of the Good Shepherd, as opposed to the thief, is taken up; but this intermediate clause will apply to either figure, inclining towards the second one. In order to make the strongest possible antithesis to the thief, Christ introduces, not a shepherd, but Himself, the Chief Shepherd.
The thief takes life; the shepherds protect life; the Good Shepherd gives it. Bibliography "Commentary on John ". I came that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. The thief is now contrasted with the shepherd.
The thief is pictured in terms of a thieving rustler or wild beast who breaks into the fold to ravage the sheep. The men who are pictured in this description would not have thought of themselves in this way, but sadly this was the result of their behaviour. The way the Pharisees had treated the healed man, blind from birth, is one example of their depredations. He discerned between the different voices and followed the shepherd, and so they threw him out of their flock. And later when Jerusalem lay in ruins, the Temple was destroyed, and the people were scattered among the nations, they would have to acknowledge that what Jesus had warned would happen had come about.
Great numbers of them had died in the conflict, they had been ravaged by their shepherds and had lost everything, and all they believed in had been destroyed. To receive that life by full commitment to Him is to enter and be saved and to enjoy abundance of life. Bibliography Pett, Peter. The three characters are here not to be confounded.
The thief is the religious impostor, the heretic, the schismatic, and the persecutor.
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The hireling is the worldly pastor who means no mischief, specially, but regards his own interest solely. The wolf is the devil; presenting himself in all the outward forms of temptation, sin, and destruction. Opposed to all these is the Good Shepherd, with his blessed flock of true pastors, who, as sheep also, take places in the flock and fold through and under him. Kill… life — The enemy brings death; the true Shepherd life. More abundantly —Not merely a continued living existence, but the fulness of immortal, heavenly, glorified life.
Bibliography Whedon, Daniel. Impostors" aims are ultimately selfish and destructive, but Jesus came to give life, not take it.
You Can Discover Abundant Life
Jesus on the other hand not only came to bring spiritual life to people, but He came to bring the best quality of life to them. The eternal life that Jesus imparts is not just long, but it is also rich. He did not just come to gain sheep but to enable His sheep to flourish and to enjoy contentment and every other legitimately good thing possible. Bibliography Constable, Thomas. Thomas Constable". The thief cometh not but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy. The rightful Shepherd has entered John that He may lead out His flock to the pastures; the thief cometh only to steal and kill, feeding himself and not the flock, even seeking its destruction.
The life and abundance are the reality of which the pasturage John has been the symbol. As in chap. Bibliography Schaff, Philip. The tenth verse introduces a new contrast, between the good shepherd and the thieves and hirelings. The thief has but one reason for his coming to the fold: he comes to steal and kill and destroy; to aggrandise himself at the expense of the sheep. Deuteronomy This may mean abundance of life, but more probably abundance of all that sustains life.
Psalms Bibliography Nicol, W. Robertson, M. The Expositor's Greek Testament. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton App-6 , for emph. See note on John Bibliography Bullinger, Ethelbert William. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes".
Living Abundantly in Your Giving
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come - or, 'I came' [ eelthon Greek ]. That they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly , [ perisson Greek ] - or rather, simply, 'have it abundantly. And yet it is but a repetition, under a new aspect, of what He had taught in the synagogue of Capernaum John ; nay, but an echo of all His teaching; and He who uttered these and like words must be either a blasphemer, all worthy of the death He died, or "God with us:" there can be no middle course.
The thief comes. All who refuse to come in through the door, have a bad purpose in mind. I have come. Jesus came to be the Life-giver! He promises life in all its fulness in this world and in the world to come! Compare Psalm 23 ; Philippians Bibliography Ice, Rhoderick D. College Press, Joplin, MO. Notes on John ; John The description of the thief is opposed to that of the shepherd, who constantly goes in and out and finds pasture. His visits are but rare, and when he comes it is but for his own selfish purposes, and for the ruin of the flock.
Each detail of his cruel work is dwelt upon, to bring out in all the baseness of its extent the corresponding spiritual truth. I am come that they might have life. The pronoun should be emphasised. I came, as opposed to the thief. He does not further dwell upon the shepherd, but passes on to the thought of Himself, and thereby prepares the way for the thought of Himself as the Good Shepherd in the following verse. The object of His coming is the direct opposite of that of the thief, who comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.
He came once for all, that in Him the sheep may have life. The Sinaitic MS. But comp. Note on John And that they might have it more abundantly. This life is through Him given to men abundantly, overflowingly. Bibliography Ellicott, Charles John. Bibliography Torrey, R. The thief is the Pharisee. Stealing, killing, destroying, are equivalent to fundamental destruction and ruin in spiritual and bodily respects: Matthew shows that the latter is not to be excluded.
The original passages are Jeremiah , Ezekiel When Jesus pledges to His sheep abundance, He exhibits Himself as the good Shepherd of Psalms 23 , whose flock can say, "I want nothing," ver. Bibliography Hengstenberg, Ernst. Sign out. Romans - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Matthew - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Romans - Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Isaiah - And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. Romans - But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Read More Revelation - Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Romans - For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. John - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Psalms - Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Romans - For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.