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John 10:10 And The Abundant Life


In John 10:10  Jesus told His disciples that He’d give them abundant life.  I don’t know what everybody thought about Jesus’ words but maybe Peter thought, “wow, fishing will be so much easier now.  I’ll catch more fish, work less, and make lots of money”.  If Peter did happen to think along these lines, he’d be soon disappointed, which might have contributed to him denying Jesus as he did.  I also wonder if Peter questioned  this interpretation of  the abundant life as he watched  Jesus hang on the cross.


In Acts 3 Peter told the lame beggar that he had no money to give him.  Had Peter begun to interpret Jesus’ words differently at this point?  And what about when Peter himself died on a cross, did he think that real abundance was finally close at hand?


Was Jesus speaking of  abundance in material terms in John 10:10?  If He was, His words did not come true to those He spoke them directly to.   Those people never had abundance of material possessions.  They had abundance of spiritual ability to do the will of their Lord that came through the Holy Spirit.  Any material  abundance was a hope for the next life, not this life.  This life was all about introducing Jesus to a world that needed Him.  Like Jesus Himself, they laid aside present prosperity for the joy that would be set before them in the next life. And like Paul, it didn’t matter if they were rich or poor as long as they were involved in the work of the Lord.


I think it’s only our North American culture that interprets abundance in a  material sense.  New Testament thinking explains abundance to be spiritual in this life, spiritual and material in the next life. 


I know there’s more to be said about abundance.  I’ve only commented on one verse.  I also know I’ve speculated greatly concerning Peter and most likely my speculation is not accurate, but there is Scriptural evidence that shows many of Jesus’ followers thought Jesus spoke of a material kingdom with material abundance.  Many of these people forsook Jesus when they discovered that He had something else in mind.  Many of us fall into the same delusion today when interpreting John 10:10 to mean material abundance in this life.   We should allow the rest of the New Testament to shed light on such verses instead of having our culture influence our interpretations.

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