We have just come out of the Advent season, a season that marks a period of waiting - remembering the waiting for the Saviour’s coming, and waiting for the anticipated return of Jesus to make all things new. We find ourselves in many waiting situations these days, whether that be for curbside pick-up, in the Zoom waiting room, waiting for appointments, for news of new measures, for notice of return to in-person learning. We ask each other what school, work, public health will be like after the pandemic while we wait for it to run its course. We say we ‘can’t wait’ to have students back in the school again. Or ‘can’t wait’ for things to return to normal. In John 10, Jesus speaks to his audience using examples of sheep and shepherding to convey his message. His listeners are not understanding, not ‘getting’ the message, so Jesus tries another approach. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” says Jesus. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus comes to bring life to His people. Jesus is in direct contrast to the thief. He provides. The thief steals. Steals joy, contentment, faith, confidence. There is much living to be done in the waiting. Do not let waiting steal life from you. Life does not pause: words need to be spoken, work needs to be done, decisions need to be made, rest needs to be taken, good news needs to be shared, moments need to be celebrated. From a Bible commentary, “The Greek word for ‘abundance,’ perissos, has a mathematical meaning and generally denotes a surplus…The abundant life is above all the contented life, in which our contentment is based upon the fact that God is equal to every emergency and is able to supply all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus” (Boice, commentary). Abundant life isn’t an especially long life. Abundant life isn’t an easy, comfortable life. Abundant life is a life of satisfaction and contentment in Jesus. He provides more than we can imagine.
- Carol Verbeek
(Resources: enduringword.com/commentary, Bible ESV)