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That They May Have Life…and Have it Abundantly

March 13, 2012

We’ve spent the majority of the last four years with childproof covers on all the doorknobs of our house that lead outside.  It’s not that we wanted to irritate guests who visited us.  It’s not that we thought they were aesthetically pleasing.  And it’s certainly not because we just liked having them.  We honestly felt like, especially with our son, that if we didn’t take that extra precaution…he’d be out the door…and we’d be left searching for him…really just hoping for the best.

Take a moment…if you will…and read through John 10:1-10 today.

Jesus begins this passage with a warning and an explanation.  He’s warning them of the reality that there are those who would seek to rob them of their joy.  And He’s explaining to them why it was that He had come to dwell among them.  And, as is typically the case, there was some confusion.  So Jesus, apparently in response to their inability to understand, makes a declaration by saying “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”  And the next part is completely unveiled.  He says, “All who came before me are thieves and robbers.”  What he’s telling them is that there have been false doors.  There have been people, opportunities, wants, desires…there have been these false doors that have beckoned you…but all they wanted was to steal from you…to rob you.

And listen; there are all sorts of false doors.  Seriously…you know them…you’ve probably opened them.  There is the karma door.  Most evangelicals don’t want to admit it, but on some level we choose the door of hoping that in the end our good deeds outweigh our sins…and then we’ll be saved.  It’s popular in our modern culture to try to enter the moralism door.  If we can live like Jesus (which for many simply means being nice)…we’ll be saved.  On a surface level, many of us just struggle with the idea that a good and holy God would condemn…so we try the “Love Wins” door of universalism…everybody gets saved.  And, since I spend a lot of my time around young people, the door that I see being traveled most of the time is the “I’ll get around to it someday” door.  It’s the idea that we can always be saved.  There will always be time for that…but right now is my time.  Of all of them, this one is the hardest to work around…it’s just ingrained in our mindset of entitlement…and Jesus is making it clear that this door…will kill you.

Jesus is telling us to forget about those doors.  And He doesn’t play around here.  He just comes out and says, “I am the door.”  There is urgency in His voice.  He’s saying this is the truth…this is reality…this is what you need to hear, to know, to believe…”I am the door!”  And then He follows it with verse 10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

The doors to our house aren’t childproof anymore.  Our boy finally got to where he could get out anyway.  And there is something about being able to play outside for a little boy.  I mean; we love building with Lego’s and playing G.I Joe…but to run free outside…that’s different. Especially this time of year…when the air is getting warmer, and the days are getting longer…outside is where life happens.  At any point in time, we can be pirates, or army men, or Star Wars characters…and sometimes all at once.  There is, in a very real sense…freedom.  This is the abundant life that Jesus is promising.  No…not playing outside (though I hope that example resonates).  He’s offering freedom…freedom from the bindings of the false doors…freedom from the weight of trying to earn what we could never afford…freedom from the promises that we know in our hearts to be untrue. The offering of Christ…what He came to offer…is salvation.  What He wants for you is a life of abundance…a life that never leaves you wanting.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah Eremic permalink
    March 13, 2012 9:25 pm

    Good word, Adam. Excellent comparison…that “freedom” is so incredible.

  2. Alba Eckstrom permalink
    March 16, 2012 1:36 pm

    Great analogy, Adam, especially for this time of year. I love the way your posts make it easier for the reader to connect the dots between scripture and life today.

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