Day 20 | A Life forever
Therefore Jesus said again, 'Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'
For some, life is champagne-in-the-veins glorious. For others, it's a seemingly endless polar plod. Because whoever we are, living is about far more than breathing, circulation, eating, sleeping, and walking from here to there. Existence is not enough. Our souls crave more. We aren't just saved from something but for something. Jesus is explicit here about what: we're saved so we can have life, and more than that, life to the full.
This teaching was directed at a highly religious group, the Pharisees (literally the 'separated ones'), who had just expressed outrage that Jesus had healed a blind man on the Sabbath. Their own limited vision could only see what should not be done. They existed in a world of restrictions and limitations and laws. Any perception that the Christian life is primarily about what we don't do is a distortion.
If we choose to follow Jesus into the life he offers us, we're trusting a shepherd who knows what is good for his sheep. Our shepherd loves each and every creature in his care and would do anything to keep them safe. And he invites us into a purpose-filled life: joining in his redemptive work in all the places we go, with all the people we meet, in all the tasks we do.
God of life, lead me in your ways. Thank you for the gift of fullness of life in your presence. Help me see all that you have for me every day, in my work, in my relationships, in my mind, my heart, and my spirit.