Re:Verse passage – John 10:10 (day four)

Jesus gives this invitation into abundant life in the middle of a parable. In this parable, he identifies himself as the Good Shepherd. He is the only shepherd who knows his sheep by name, the only one who goes looking for the sheep that is lost, the only one who will lay his life down for the sheep. Only through him can the sheep go out and find pasture. When he uses this language to describe himself, he not only shows how intimately he loves his people, but he also reveals his divine nature.

When Jesus calls himself the Shepherd who offers abundant life, he identifies himself with God the Father. In Genesis, Jacob states that Yahweh is his lifelong shepherd. David calls God his shepherd in Psalm 23. In Ezekiel 34 God proclaims himself to be Israel’s shepherd. Jesus’ words in John 10 reveal his identity as the Son of God, the flesh-and-bone shepherd of the people of God.

So, in the context of God the Shepherd, what does abundant life look like? It looks like living without fear of thieves and wolves, it looks like fresh green pastures and peaceful quiet waters, it looks like restoration and righteousness, perpetual goodness and lovingkindness. Abundance of joy, abundance of peace, abundance of love. Sounds a lot like Revelation 21-22, doesn’t it?

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