Summary: Like many before Him, Jesus made some audacious claims. The difference is that he can deliver every time!
THERE’S GOT TO BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS!
JOHN 10:1-10, 19
Big Idea: Like many before Him, Jesus made some audacious claims. The difference is that he can deliver every time!
1 "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. … 19 At these words the Jews were again divided. 20 Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
Have you ever said to yourself, “There has got to be more to life than this?”
Maybe in regards to your faith you have said something like, “There has got to be more to being a Christian than this.”
Maybe regarding your church experience you have said, “There has got to be more to church than this.”
Each of these expressions has something in common … unrealized expectations; maybe even emptiness. Maybe, at some level, you’re wondering whether you have settled for second best or maybe you are even wondering if you have been duped … sold snake oil.
There were many people in the first century that were wondering the same thing about their lives and religious experiences. They were keeping the rules, doing their time, paying their fair share and yet life was … empty … hollow.
And then someone came on the scene who offered hope. His name was Jesus. He spoke as no man had ever spoken and he made claims that most other men would dare not make. His claims were so bold that the “know it alls” of the day called him on it … they tried to expose him as a pied piper … a deceiver. They even said he was “demon possessed and raving mad!” (John 10:21).
Jesus made a lot of claims suggesting there was more to this life and offering more from this life. He told people they were made for more than this. He said audacious things like: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
You have to admit … Jesus’ claim is very brazen! He set himself against all other competitors. He separated himself from the herd and declared himself to be the real deal.
There are a lot of people (and things) that claim to be the real deal isn’t there? They claim they can give you that inner fulfillment you are looking for. Watch advertisements on television. Watch how sex, money and power are framed in ads. Listen to the average politician. They all claim to be the solution; but we know they lie. To use an Oklahoma term they are “all hat and no cattle.”
So, why should you believe Jesus when he makes claims that are even more bold? Well, I would suggest that the proof is in the pudding. I would suggest that the testimony of those who have followed him the last 2000 years is evidence that he can provide all that he offers.
Do you remember the story of the woman at the well (John 4)? Here was a woman that was “all used up.” She’d been passed around by various men and was now living in utter humiliation. Jesus approaches her, points to the well she is getting water from, and says “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (v. 13-14).
That’s a pretty bold statement! That’s nothing short of audacious! But do you remember how that story ended? Not only did she discover that Jesus could deliver on His promises but the townsfolk did too. The story ends with these words: “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (vv. 39-42).