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Imagine…move over, John Lennon.

John 10.7-13.

John, #54 in a series.

Imagine, John Lennon’s song, is a musical work of art, the tune attracting our attention and running through our minds over and over again, but the words are vacant, they are sad.  Imagine there’s no Heaven?  No, thanks. 

Here’s a rewrite--remembering the tune [no disrespect meant, Beatles fans]

Imagine none could harm you,     

      wouldn’t that be great                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

No evil around us

No pictures of hate. 

Imagine all the people living for that day …

Imagine there's no sickness

it isn’t hard to do.         

Nothing that would kill us.

And no division too.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Imagine all the people living life in peace . . . yew-hoooo, hooooo       

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us and you'll be walking with Jesus.   

Imagine an abundant life and an eternity filled with goodness of God. That is the proffer of the Good Shepherd.                                    

John captures Jesus' words, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.”

Imagine with me a rocky enclosure, (something like the picture here), a place where flocks of sheep could be safely kept at night in the Judean hills.  The keeper would literally lie down in the doorway to safeguard the sheep from wandering, from the attack of predators, from thieves.  Jesus says of himself,                                                                        “I am the door of the sheep.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…”        

Jesus is the one who saves us from eternal separation from God, the source of all that is good, good that lasts forever. On the other hand the Lord describes the thief/the evil one who comes to “steal and to kill and to destroy,” which is in stark contrast to one of the most beautiful, hopeful statements in all of Scripture:                                                                                             

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” 

Compared with the hired hand, the shepherd raises the lambs from birth, likely from a tender age himself.  The shepherd knows them individually and will risk his life if required. Prophetic to be sure, Jesus says

The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep,”

which he would soon do. 

Every time I read John 10.10, I am challenged by the question:                                                       do I live the abundant life the Lord promised to those who follow him?  

The abundant life is filled with meaning....

life lived with purposelife lived on purpose

running full out toward the mark, chest high and ready to break the tape at the finish line.  Anything that detracts from that kind of living—self-centeredness, worry or distraction … I need to be aware, comes from the hireling… the thief.  

and not the One who gives the abundant life ~ my Good Shepherd.

Imagine . . .

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