Friday, June 13, 2014

Finding Pasture

In John 10, Jesus makes a daring claim, gives a dire warning, and then promises something extraordinary...
"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."
We'll talk more about this on Sunday, but for now, take a moment and reflect:  What does this "abundant life" mean?  What does it look like?

Well, much can be said.  But Jesus actually defines it right here in this passage as "he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture."

That's the Jewish way of describing the good life!

You are free to come and go without fear, living in a land of peace and plenty.

In Numbers 27, it's what God's appointed & true leader provides for you:
Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.
In Deuteronomy 28, it's the summary statement of the blessing of God, when his people are faithful:
And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
In 1 Kings 3, it's what a child cannot do for himself/herself:
And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.
In Psalm 121, it's the life of the one who trust in the Lord:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

As Jesus says, it means salvation, and it is found only through him.  Come and have it.

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