As we now bring our meditation to a close, there is just one more closely- related verse, which we would
like to look into. Our Lord is again speaking about His coming into the world, and giving HIS REASONS
for that coming. And, once more, as we shall see, His positive statement is immediately preceded by its
corresponding negative. We refer to John1 0: 10 where He says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy: -I am come THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND THAT THEY MIGHT
HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY".
We suggest that this verse "overspans", or "binds together" those verses we discussed previously, and it is
the crown and glory of them all. He does not come to rob or to kill, (we were, in fact, already dead! -see
Eph. 2:1) He comes to GIVE US LIFE, -LIFE ABUNDANT! 0, what a purpose was that; -to RAISE men
from their spiritual graves. What He did for Lazarus in a physical sense (See John 11, -the next chapter!),
He will do for us spiritually. We, too, have long been in our tombs (no true contact with God, -out of
touch with heavenly realities), but He will quicken us to Life (Eph.2: 1). We shall live again! We shall be
able to say "Abba; -Father", and heavenly things will be to us the REAL things.
We notice that, when Lazarus "came forth", he was still "bound hand and foot with grave - clothes"
(v.44). But the great thing was that he was alive. And, very soon, even those grave -clothes were "loosed
from him", and he was "free indeed" (John 8:36). Very soon (John12: 2) he had his place at the feast of
thanksgiving, and the whole house was filled with fragrance. Lazarus, and many others, had "seen the
Glory of God". All this, we say again, was why Christ came into our world (See also John11: 40)"
Returning now to our key -verse, (John10:10), it is important to see that our Lord's statement was made
right at the center of His well known discourse on "shepherding", in which He was emphasising the vast
difference between false shepherds and true ones. There is no doubt that He had the "religious leaders" at
Jerusalem particularly in His view, -especially when we remember the tremendous clash that is outlined
in the preceding chapter, -John 9, -and which clearly flows on into chapter ten. Christ is saying that it is
those long -gowned "religionists" who were the false shepherds; -they were the ones who were "stealing
and killing and destroying". He, on the other hand was here to GIVE life, and to give it more abundantly.
The others might be good at "taking",-He was hereto GIVE. He was no thief, -nor would He ever be; -He
was the Good Shepherd, -here to lay down His own Life for the sheep (v .15). Indeed, as we now know.
He had His plans to impart that Life, -raised and glorified, into His trusting people, -thus forming that
mystic but mighty ORGANISM which we now know as His Church. Far be the thought that HE would
rob us of anything!
We do not hesitate to say that the mere suggestion that Christ robs His people is an outrageous lie; -one
of the most despicable deceptions ever devised in hell. And yet, what multitudes have been duped by it!
Right until today, there are countless souls who hesitate to come to Christ for fear that He will rob them
of something. They continue to say, -"If I let Christ control my life, I shall lose so much. I shall be
stripped of the legitimate joys of life; -I shall lose my friends, and my popularity, -and I shall even be
worse off financially, because of those endless 'appeals' for this and for that". All this, of course, is a
gross deception; -it is Satan's lie. The true friends of Christ will heartily testify with Paul that
"...godliness... is GREA T GAIN" (1 Tim.6: 6).
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It has been well said that "Christ only takes from us what He knows will ultimately harm us, - or rob us
of His best". From our own considerable experience, we heartily endorse that. It is true!
We will do well to remember that the very lie we are discussing was the great original lie, which Satan
used when he first deceived Eve and Adam. Posing as Eve's friend, he suggested that God must be
robbing them of something by putting any restrictions on the use of the trees of the garden of Eden
(Gen.3: 1). Although our parents were already surrounded by so many evidences of God's loving
kindness and gracious provision, Eve chose to believe the lie. She took of the forbidden fruit, - and with
what tragic consequences!
Should we not, then, ask God to deliver us from all those totally unfounded fears about losing anything
through yielding to Christ? And let us carefully avoid those "false shepherds" to whom we earlier
referred, and who, in a very deep sense, are the real "robbers" of God's flock. How much better to place
ourselves firmly in the care of the Good Shepherd Himself, and know for ourselves that Life Abundant
which He gives, and which is so beautifully described in Psalm twenty -three. 0, may the Dear Lord help
us. Thank God, He came, -and gave us His reasons. All praise to His Name.
The Saviour Christ has come
The Saviour Christ has come
Our Blessed Lord from Heaven
God's own Beloved Son
To seek and save the lost
To pay sin's awful cost -
The Saviour Christ has come.
O praise the Lord He's come
O praise the Lord He's come
Down from the courts above
To manifest God's love
To meet my need He came
All glory to His Name
The Saviour Christ has come
SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS -2
The believers at Corinth remained spiritual! babes for a long time in spite of hearing the preaching of
Paul, which was "not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of
power" (1 Cor.2:4). They had heard the Gospel, believed on it and had repented of their sins; but they had
failed to grow on to maturity. That is why they had strife and contention in their midst (1 Cor, 3:3). The
reason for this was their partial spiritual blindness. If we have such blindness in us, we must confess it
before the Lord, " and ask Him to touch us and give us clear vision.
Then we find another kind of spiritual blindness among believers, which causes difficulty in
understanding the Word of God. They are good and sincere people, but they suffer from such blindness
that even though they read the Bible, they do not understand anything and soon feel very sleepy.
The Bible is the Word of God, not the word of man. That is why every time we read the Bible we must
pray like the Psalmist, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Psalm
119:18). When I started to read my Bible for the first time in 1929, I could not understand it, Over and
over again I came across phrases like "And God said", "and God saw", "and God appeared". (Such
phrases appear about 558 times in the first five books of the Bible). I said to myself, "This is not an
ordinary book, it is the Word of God. I must be very humble and reverent when I read it". So I prayed,
"Lord, I believe this is Your Word. I cannot understand it by myself. You please open my eyes and give
me understanding". After that the Book became very real to me, and I began to enjoy reading it. You also
must confess before Him your spiritual blindness and foolishness, and request Him to enlighten you.
Then take your time and read the Bible from Genesis to Malachi, and Matthew to Revelation. Read it
upon your knees. Read it slowly. Ask the Lord to speak to you through the portion you have read. Then
He will help you to understand. Otherwise you will remain blind spiritually.
No one can be a better teacher of the Word than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We read in Luke 24:
13-35 how on the day of resurrection, two disciples were going from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they were
returning home, the Lord Himself walked with them, and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He
expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. But neither could they
recognize Him nor could they believe what He said. They remained blind. This was because they had no
faith. You too may hear a great and well-known preacher, but if you do not have faith, you will not be
able to understand his message, and you will remain blind. According to Heb.4:2, the Word of God must
be accepted with faith. By faith say in your heart, "Lord, I believe this is Your Word. I believe You will
speak to me". Then you will be able to understand what He wants to tell you.
As those two disciples and the Lord Jesus sat for food, the Lord took bread, blessed it, and gave them. In
that breaking of bread, their eyes were opened; they recognized the Lord and He vanished out of their
sight (Luke 24:30-31). They I remembered how recently on the Passover night, the Lord had done the
same thing and had said that His body would be broken for them. Here we find a very deep and important
principle. Sunday-by-Sunday, as we remember the Lord's death in the Breaking of Bread, we get more
clear heavenly VISION.
The more we worship the Lord and the more we thank Him for dying on our behalf and shedding His
blood for the remission of our sins, the more clearly shall we see Him. This heavenly vision does not
come by hearing messages. The true understanding came to them only with the breaking of bread. Our
loving and mighty Creator gave Himself for us. He allowed wicked people to beat Him, scourge Him,
spit upon Him and pierce Him. He died for our sake. He took our place. He rose again for our
justification. As we take part in the Lord's Table worthily and gratefully, in appreciation of such
wonderful love and sacrifice, we will be given more clear understanding of His Word.
These days, we have many means where by vision can be improved. But for spiritual eyesight, we have to
go only to the Lord. In Rev .3: 18 (b), the Lord says, "anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest
see". The Lord Himself will give us this eye salve to take away our blindness, and then He will reveal
Himself to us.
May the Lord grant us all His clear heavenly vision.