Many of the Bible stories and verses we think we know, we don’t! When We Understand the Text is an internet-based video ministry committed to righting some of the wrong understanding of scripture, all while advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here’s our latest video!
In John 10:10, Jesus said,
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Often, when this verse gets quoted, the thief is described as the devil. But, that’s not exactly the context. To the Jews and Pharisees, Jesus said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they’d not understand what He was saying to them.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:1-10)
In context, we see that the thieves and robbers Jesus describes are false teachers who con with their lies and destroy by twisting the life-saving Gospel. Jesus is referencing Ezekiel’s warning:
“Ah, shepherds of Israel feeding yourselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep? The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was not shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts.” (Ezekiel 34:2, 4-5)
Israel’s leaders were using their powerful position to feed themselves rather than God’s people. Today, there are false ministers who twist God’s word for selfish gain. The true followers of Jesus won’t listen to such strangers. They will follow the Good Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
Jesus – the Good Shepherd – gives abundant life, meaningful and eternal life.