The Life Jesus gives
THE LIFE JESUS CAME TO GIVE
In the sermon where Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd, we find Him telling us the reason why He had come into the world,
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b
He came to give life to those who would follow Him, and not just life, but an abundance of life. In the original language the word has the connotation of an overflowing amount that is far in excess of what is necessary, an extraordinary amount. But how can one have an “extraordinary amount” of life? One might wonder if perhaps this refers to the eternal length of life that Jesus came to bring (John 3:16). Although this is certainly a part of it, this reference has not only a quantity of life in mind, but a quality of life as well. Jesus is saying that He came to give us a rich and full life that is beyond the measure of any normal life lived apart from what He alone can bring. The Apostle Paul echoed this same truth in his letter to the Ephesians:
“...the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what
are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”
Although this is a glorious truth, it often impacts people in a way that one would not expect. Rather than filling people with joy or enthusiasm, it arouses guilt, shame, frustration, or discouragement. This is because many are not at all confident that their lives as Christians reflect this abundance that Jesus spoke of. Many are even unclear about what this “abundance” is supposed to look like in one’s everyday life. They wonder what it is that God truly wants from them, and how they are to achieve a life that can by any measure be considered “abundant”.
Among evangelical believers today, there is a real and present absence of a confident understanding of what the Christian life is, and how it can be practiced in a way that genuinely pleases God. Many believers are simply uncertain either how to go about being the person God wants them to be, or how to successfully achieve the goals that God has for the lives of those who are His. Additionally, to many of these believers, God seems distant and silent. He is more a theoretical part of their lives rather than a real being with whom they share a relationship. Instead of being involved
in a dynamic relationship with God, they are merely living according to the abstract principles of a
religious lifestyle. It is because of this sad reality that I have chosen to write this study. Because despite all that has been written already, there are still far too many believers who are not living the life that Jesus came to give.