Valued By God: John 10:1-21

Focus Passage: John 10:1-21 (CEV)

    1 Jesus said:

   I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3 But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.

    4 When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5 The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.

    6 Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.

    7 Jesus said:

   I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8 Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9 I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.

    10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. 11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep.

    14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.

    17 The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.

    19 The people took sides because of what Jesus had told them. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon in him! He is crazy! Why listen to him?”

    21 But others said, “How could anyone with a demon in him say these things? No one like that could give sight to a blind person!”

Read John 10:1-21 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

In this passage, Jesus gives one of His more profound and perplexing statements.

It is our tendency when we read this that Jesus is talking to a select group of people, but this teaching was to a crowd where every group and class of people were represented.

John 10, verse 10 is the verse that holds this statement: “A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.

In this short verse, Jesus contrasts the mission of His ministry with all other “ministries” that would come before and after. In this verse, Jesus challenges the notion that He came to “steal” people away from earth. That idea goes against what Jesus says here. A “thief” steals from the places they have targeted, and Jesus positions Himself on the opposite side of this idea.

Jesus sets Himself on the platform that He came to help everyone have a full life.

This is where things can get a little uncomfortable for some. Jesus clearly says “everyone”. This is not Jesus saying, “Only those who follow Me can have the full life.” That might make sense, but this is not Jesus’ words. Jesus wanted everyone in the crowd to live a full life – regardless of their past, and regardless of where they were in the moment He spoke those words.

The same is true today. Jesus wants you and I, regardless of our past or where we are in the present, to have a full life. His statement is 100% inclusive and not exclusive to anyone.

However, not everyone wants a “full” life. Not everyone believes the truth about what leads to a full life. There are billions of people running across the planet who might say they want a full life, but then they act in ways that cheapens their value to others and themselves. God’s idea of a “full” life does not lead to anyone feeling less than how God feels about them, and if you don’t know what God thinks of you, simply look to the cross – the place where the Creator of the earth died. We see our value in how much God gave up to be with us.

When we get a glimpse of how valuable we are to God, we can begin to live life to God’s fullest!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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