In one of the most intriguing verses in the Bible, Jesus makes the claim, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have abundant life (or fullness of life)” John 10:10. His claim sounds pretty good. I mean who isn’t looking for a full and abundant life? Our culture clammers for the “good life,” a life that overflows with goodness and satisfies our deepest yearnings. Apparently, Jesus understood this yearning and pursuit common to all people, and offers to help us find it.
Jesus’ claim to offer “abundant life” can be interpreted in many different ways. Some say that Jesus is talking about the afterlife, a heavenly home that awaits all people of faith after their death. This interpretation is unlikely as the vast majority of Jesus’ teaching is grounded in and responds to a specific context, problem or question Jesus is addressing in this life. If the “abundant life” Jesus talks about is not found solely in heaven, then it must be available for us here… in the life. So the question becomes, “How do we find this life here and now?” This is the objective of my experiment.
One clue about Jesus’ claim can be found in the verses that follow it. He goes on to describe himself as a “good shepherd,” one who loves and lays down his life for his sheep. The sheep know his voice, trust him and follow him. In light of this passage, we understand that Jesus invitation into abundant life is directly connected to listening, trusting and following. That is what my Jesus Experiment is all about, taking Jesus at his promise and exploring my hypothesis: Jesus give s a rich and satisfying life to those who follow him.
I invite you to come along for the ride. For the next 12 weeks, I will use this blog as my journal chronicling the adventures of the previous week. Our guide along the way will be a book called The Jesus Experiment by Bill Perkins. You are welcome to pick up a copy and join in. Blessings on your week. -Chad