Hi, this is Bill Vanderbush, the pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, Florida, and this is God Today. Have you ever heard the verse, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and to destroy, but I have come so you could have life and have it more abundantly.” It’s a famous verse, it’s a quote of Jesus from John 10:10. Historically, we have all pretty much agreed that the thief is the devil. There is no doubt that the devil is a thief. I want to go back to verse 1 and go through the story just a little bit and see whether or not you can see what Jesus is really talking about here.
In verse 1 Jesus says of Himself that He is both the gatekeeper and He is the sheepfold. That is the place where we have an intimate communion with God. Then He goes on to actually say that anybody who tries to get in through the sheepfold other than by the door or through the gatekeeper, that person is a thief. You can’t go over, you can’t break through, you can’t go underneath. You have to go in in by the door and you have to go in through the gatekeeper.
He goes on to say, a little further on, that everybody who ever came before Him is a thief and a robber. By the time He gets to verse 10, that’s where He sets it up by saying, “The thief comes to kill, steal, kill and to destroy, but I have come that you could have life and have it more abundantly.” By now you might be saying, “Bill, what in the world are you talking about? I thought the thief was the devil? Well, again, the devil is a thief, but that’s not who the thief is in this story. In this story, the thief is any ritualistic, religious idea about how you can work your way into a relationship with God apart from purely resting on what Christ has done.
Anything other than just Christ alone and the finished work of the cross giving you access to a place of intimacy with God, is a religious ritual that will ultimately steal, and kill, and destroy. The idea here is that Jesus Himself is our life, our abundant life. It is through Christ alone that we have access to the Father. These days there are a lot of people who say you can get to God a whole bunch of different ways. The Bible is really clear in Acts 4:12. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Jesus didn’t come to make this difficult, He came to make it easy. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and nobody comes to the Father, but by me.” These days where it is easy to hear all these different voices saying, “You can get to God through this way, you can get to God through that way.” I just want to reiterate to you today that there is one way to have an intimate relationship with the Father. It’s not through religion and it is not through some other vain philosophy. It is through Christ alone. He, Himself, carries us into that place of having an intimacy with the Father.
Can I pray for you today? God, I pray right now that by your Spirit, that you would reveal Jesus to every single person that is watching this show today. God, I pray that every person watching today would have a revelation of who you are. God, that they would know that you have finished the work on the cross, and you have made way, an access to have an intimate communion with God. Lord, I pray today that you would draw us into that pace of knowing your voice, knowing that it is you alone that carries us to the throne. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen. God bless you.