I worked several part-time jobs when I was in college. One of those was as a courier (a glorified delivery boy or go-fer) for a law firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you’re not familiar with the term go-fer it means to go-fer this and go-fer that; often I would go-fer coffee and go-fer hot buttered biscuits! This job was a good experience for me. I was extremely shy when it came to speaking and expressing myself. This job required that I express in words who I was and what it was that I wanted.
I would often go to the courthouse, other attorneys offices, etc. to deliver or pick up papers for one of the attorneys in the firm. Each time I did I was required to initiate a conversation with a receptionist by identifying myself and stating my business clearly and concisely: who I was and why I came. In the beginning my introductions were halting and disjointed. After working in this capacity for three years or so I became quite proficient at it. This may sound like a small step to you, but it was a giant leap for me.
Stating who we are and why we have come is a integral part of our daily lives. It was also an integral part of the life and ministry of Jesus. I want to highlight one of the numerous statements Jesus made concerning why he came. For a complete listing of what Jesus said about why he came to earth see In His Own Words: Why Jesus Came.
In John 10:10 Jesus says The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Other translations of the second half of this verse are helpful in understanding what Jesus meant:
- John 10:10b MSG says, I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
- John 10:10b CJB says, I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.
- John 10:10b NIRV says, I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.
As you know statements can often be twisted from their originally intended meaning. Its always best to hear a story from its original source. It’s hard to misunderstand Jesus’ meaning in this verse. Though each translation is different, they all resound Jesus’ unmistakeable message: He wants his sheep to have a good life, an abundant life, a better life than they ever dreamed of!