I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Here Jesus claims the life He offers is quite different from a life apart from Him.
So, what is life without Him?
On the surface, a life without Jesus appears to work fairly well for some people. But living apart from Jesus always leads to the cultivation of a personality based on our own human nature.
At the worst we become terribly enslaved to the destructive habits of sin and are destroyed. At the best, we manage by human effort to keep the worst of our nature suppressed and live a socially acceptable life.
In either case, we must come to the end of our days only to die without hope.
So what does the Teacher mean when he talks about the full life – the abundant life?
Jesus is talking about a real and lasting life – the very life of God shared with those who follow Him.
It is a life that is eternal, one that lasts forever. If this is so, then the life Jesus offers must be of benefit in both the present and the future.
In the present, students follow Jesus and with the aid of the Holy Spirit actually overcome the negative tendencies of human nature by becoming more like the Teacher. Developing a character more like Jesus is the real and present difference between the full life with Jesus and a life without Him.
And when the time comes to die there is the future resurrection to life. Living forever in the world He is preparing for those who follow Him!
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.