Why Jesus Came: To Give Life to the Full.
As we gather on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ, we are celebrating the greatest gift we could ever receive, the gift of a Savior. The gifts we give to celebrate fall far short of what he has done for us, but it can still be fun to reflect on some of the best Christmas gifts in recent history
2012 - It was the Wii U.
1984 - It was the transformer. Even a live action movie in 1986.
1991 - It wasTalk boy. Made for movie but so much demand had to pull ads.
1950’s - It was the hoola hoop that was all the rage.
1960 - It was hotwheels.
1970’s - It was the easy bake oven.
1983 - Cabbage Patch dolls were first created in 1978, and by the early '80s, they were everywhere. October 1983 heralded the start of the "Cabbage Patch Riots." Shoppers hopped from state to state, withstood freezing temperatures in line, and fought each other in stores — all to buy Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. By 1985, the toy had $600 million in sales.
It is funny to see these gifts. Maybe you wanted one, had one. Maybe you cried because you didn’t have one or boasted that you had one.
Where these once filled our hearts with joy, their memories fade, prestige dissipate, and their usefulness is gone. They now fill attics and landfills.
At Christmas we celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive, which is the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came that we might have life and have it to the full. What we have in him is a gift of constant hope and eternal life.
Jesus Gives Fullness of Life
What would you say is the reason Jesus came? What would you say is the result of Jesus coming? Is it fullness of life.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)
Just look at this verse. He came that we might have life and have it abundantly, fully. What does abundance mean? Well, will your Christmas dinner be a meager display of food or an abundant display? Do you want a full portion or a healthy portion. We like fullness. We all want more.
Fullness. Something that exceeds expectations. abundant; perisso, over and above, more than is necessary, superadded:
But also, not what he brings. Fullness of __ (stuff, possession). But notice what it says. He came, not that we might have more stuff, but that we might have fullness of life. There is a big difference in having lots of life and having lots of stuff.
Did Ebenezer Scrooge have lots of life or lots of stuff? Mrs. Potter lots of stuff or lots of life.
Life is a person’s vitality or is animate. Passions. Desires longing. the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate:
Jesus came that we might have fullness of life. In a time where many view God as a cosmic police officer who just wants to control us or perhaps as a prudish grandmother. Jesus came to give us life.
This is a powerful reminder that his commands are not given to restrict our pleasures and enjoyment. They are meant to protect our pleasures and enjoyments. When we go outside of his commands then those things take us away from God.
We are physical and spiritual beings and just as we have physical needs, we have spiritual needs. It is possible to have lots of physical things and shrivel because we are starved spiritually.
Gifts cannot fill us. Other things cannot fill us.
The renowned artist Vincent van Gogh was committed to an insane asylum and died at 37. Before his death he was found eating yellow paint. The reason is that yellow was one of his favorite colors and made him happy. He thought eating the paint would cure his depression and make him happy. Sadly, it did not.
On March 7, 1987, the Beastie Boys' (Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Adam "MCA" Yauch, and Michael "Mike D" Diamond) album “Licensed To Ill” became the first rap album to top the music charts. The group’s lawyer called their producer Rick Rubin and asked, “You have the No. 1 album in the world—how does it feel?” After a few seconds of silence, Rick said, “I've never felt worse in my whole life.”
Rubin was 23 years old when his dream of having a No. 1 album came true. Previous to that point, on and off, he experienced varying symptoms of depression. During low moments, he would think about one day achieving his dream, and that thought gave him hope. “When that happens,” he'd think, “this hole inside me—whatever it is inside me that makes me feel bad—will go away.”
When the day came, Rubin was overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness because... “The thing that I’d been waiting for my whole life, the thing that was going to fill that hole inside me, had happened, and I didn’t feel any better. The hole was still there.”
Physical things can’t fill spiritual voids.
Jonathan Edwards said, “Man has a natural craving and thirst after happiness; and will thirst and crave until his capacity is filled. And his capacity is of vast extent; and nothing but an infinite good can fill and satisfy his desires.”
Alexis de Tocqueville’s on the United States and how American's believed that prosperity could bring deep happiness. But such a hope was an illusion. Tocqueville argued, because, "the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart." As a result, he spoke of "a strange melancholy often haunting inhabitants of democracies in the midst of abundance."
Desire is infinite because we are made by God, made for God, made to need God, and made to run on God. We can be satisfied only by the one who is infinite, eternal, and able to supply all our needs; we are only at home in God. When we fall away from God, the desire for the infinite remains, but it is displaced upon things that will certainly lead to destruction.” Dallas Willard, in Relentless Elimination of Hurry by JM Comer, 146
We were made for God. Life is found in him. It is in a relationship with him. Only an ongoing relationship with an infinite God can satisfy our hearts. The sad thing is that we turn from him and look to other things, things that cannot fill our stomach, satisfy our desires, or sustain the dependence we have on God.
Jesus is the one whom we find life and find it to the full.
His words are life and spirit. They fill us with life.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11 ESV)
All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. (John 10:8 ESV)
Jesus as the good shepherd is contrasted with thieves and robbers. Shepherds were to protect the sheep. A good shepherd cared about his sheep. Thieves do not care. We have a longing to be cared for, to know we are of significance, and we find that to the utmost place in Jesus.
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. (John 10:12 ESV)
Watch out for thieves. What would you do if a thief were to come in tonight and steal your hoola hoop or cabbage patch doll? What might you to do protect your Christmas? Those are fighting words.
Well, this passage tells us there are people who will seek to take us away from what God has for us.
This passage that we are reading in John 10 follows what happened in John 9 where Jesus healed a man born blind. That’s amazing. But it got both Jesus and the man healed in trouble with the religious authorities. While it’s amazing to see someone healed, Jesus presence started to challenge them. His authority exposed them as frauds. They didn’t like it. Rather than rejoice they began to attack the man. They didn’t care about the man or God.
Hired hands. These are people they may not be vindictive but are not going to go out of their way to take care of you. Hired hands. They don’t care about the.
Mike Plewniak at Lowes. He did care about PNL statements. He just didn’t want to have a bunch of people around his register yelling at him. Just take it. There are people in life that won’t care about you. They will only use you. Harden you. Jesus is the good shepherd. The true shepherd. He lays down his life for you.
People who oppose Jesus. Ideas that oppose truth. Things that want to
Materialists view that says you just need more stuff. Physical things can’t fill spiritual needs.
The tasks master that says you just need to accomplish more stuff. You haven’t so you are no good, not respected, not worthy, not equal. Who are you worried about impressing?
The lies of the enemy that opposes the work of God. Hurt in life and sad and broken.
The thief wants to steal our life. They bring darkness. Rob us of light and life. The robber wants to take what God has for us. The hired hand wants to use us for something else. God wants to fill us.
Go through life feeling like people just want something from you. Go somewhere and a person is nice to you. Got a two-sentence friend request on Facebook. The first sentence told me how great they thought I was, and the second sentence was what they could do for me. felt used. Some just want your attention.
He cares for us.
That God is a cosmic kill joy keeping you from real happiness. That is a cosmic police officer just trying to keep you in line. Parental hangover- where as a child you see the authority of your parents and their character or lack of character, and you import that for better or worse on to who God is.
Maybe it is the desire to keep the real meaning of Christmas under wraps.
The hired hand doesn’t care if the sheep are lost. The true shepherd, the one who loves his sheep, is willing to risk his life for his sheep. True love sacrifices, and God shows us his love for us in what he does to save us out of trouble.
We have to stop looking at the thieves and robbers and look to the good shepherd, the Savior who came to give us life.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11 ESV)
In this passage Jesus shows, before he ever turned toward Jerusalem and spoke plainly about his impending death, that he came to lay down his life for us.
When someone tells us they love us or thought about us then we are filled. Filled with hope and care. In being created by God we were created for God. We were never meant to find meaning outside of him. We are filled with hope. He will give us life, and no one can take it away. We are filled with purpose. Purpose that we can share the light and love and truth of Jesus with others. Filled with significance. Guidance. Our shepherd is with us. He died for me, what good will he now withhold from me.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘til He appears and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
Jesus is the Shepherd we Follow.
I know my own and they know me. John 10:14
V16 They will listen to my voice.
Grandparent gives you a gift you tell them thank you and you give them a big hug. Same to your parents. Give your brother a punch to the shoulder. Jesus gave us the greatest gift imaginable, his life; and the only appropriate response is that we follow him. We believe and we turn away from the thieves and robbers of life. We experience his light and life.
Glen Scrivener, Air we Breath, p203. Spurgeon warned about the dangers of semi-Christianity. He said “Be half a Christian and you shall have enough religion to make you miserable.” concerned for church goers who knew enough of the Bible to understand its good advice but not its good news. Appreciated Christ standards but not Christ’s story. They knew law but not love, the guilt but not the grace.
Recognize that in Jesus we are in a holy place. A holy person has done a holy act. It fills us. Fill us with hope. Fill us that there is something worthwhile in the world. Something worth living for and giving our lives for that thing. It is a love that fill us, warms us and lights us.
We remember a holy night, in which the savior of the world was brought forth, of a virgin, that all might know /glow.
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 ESV)