In John 10:10 (ESV) Jesus tells us one of the reasons he came to the earth: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
I recently did a word study of every single occurrence of the word “life” (Greek: zoe) in John’s Gospel. It is used 36 times. I then made eight thematic categories, and then these six:
1. Knowing and trusting in God through Christ
2. Being assured of eternal life
3. Finding in Christ our ultimate nourishment and satisfaction
4. Navigating life with his wisdom
5. Living differently than others because of who Jesus is and what he has done for us on the cross
6. Cooperating with the Holy Spirit who is working through you
From there I siphoned these two words: Peace and purpose.
If you look at that list of six, the first three are about ultimate peace, both in this life and the next. The second three are about living with purpose.
I realize that you can’t truly summarize 36 uses of the word “life” into two words. It’s more rich and nuanced than that. But if we are looking for a general sense of what it means to have abundant life, I think it’s a logical summary.
It’s about having peace with God and purpose in God.
No one wants to waste their life. I know God doesn’t want us to waste them either. So in his great love he has given us books like John’s Gospel to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Read. Pray. Digest. Act.
Peace with God and purpose in God. Thank you, Jesus, for showing us the way to abundant life.
–“Living an abundant life.” Sermon. September 25, 2022. Click here.