The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Even though this verse is part of a long discourse by Jesus, I have chosen to reflect solely on it because it is a very powerful statement that can bring us much comfort, hope, and encouragement.
Jesus says that the "thief," who is Satan, "steals, kills, and destroys.” These describe actions that are not just physical but spiritual as well.
First, he steals. He steals our joy, our peace, and our purpose for living. By sowing seeds of doubt, despair, and discord, Satan attempts to rob us of our spiritual blessings.
Next, he kills. He kills our spirit and our body, but more importantly, he kills our soul. By promoting sin, Satan seeks to sever the connection between us and God, trying to own and control us forever.
Lastly, he destroys. He destroys our careers, our relationships, and our lives. The latter is not just the destruction of physical life but the complete ruination of everything that makes life meaningful.
That is the bad news. However, the good news is that what Satan has stolen, killed, and destroyed, Jesus can restore, resurrect, and repair. This is the cornerstone of the Gospel message.
Through Jesus, what is stolen by Satan—whatever it might be—can be restored. We have had a lot stolen from us and I’m sure we would like what was stolen restored so let us understand this.
Imagine that in real life you have a prized possession that is stolen by a thief. Although that possession is not with you it still exists somewhere. Filing a police complaint might see the thief caught and your possession restored to you.
Similarly, the things that Satan has stolen from us still exist. These might be our health, our careers, our ministries — anything we once had but is now gone. Far more powerful than any policeman, Jesus can restore them! Ask and you will receive, he says (Matthew 7:7).
Jesus can also restore what is killed. We know he brought Lazarus back from the dead (see John 11). He used the incident to illustrate a great truth, saying, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." This demonstrates that physical death is not the end, and spiritual life is eternal through faith in Christ” (John 11:25).
And he repairs what is destroyed. The New Testament speaks of a new creation in Christ. Not only are individual lives repaired, but there is also a promise that all creation will be renewed (Revelation 21:5).
Consequently, let us not worry about what the thief can do, let us focus on what Jesus has done: given believers abundant life The promise of abundant life is not merely life as it was *before* the thief's intrusion, but a richer, deeper, eternal quality of life—a restoration and resurrection that not only counters but far exceeds the "thief's" deeds, providing a foretaste of the ultimate renewal of all things.
God bless you.