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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

So we see what Messiah Y'shua was saying and there is a popular belief that He was talking about satan coming to steal kill and destroy. Is this what He was talking about or is there a greater, more natural, warning being given?

One thing you'll hear me repeat over and over on this site is the importance of context.
Context is key in making sure we don't make up things, twist things, or even fall for bad teachings. Let's look at this passage within the context of what Y'shua was talking about.

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father —and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life —only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 9:40 - 10:18

The first thing you need to do is get rid of your preconceived notions that you know what's being said here. Clear your mind as come to the text as if it's the first time you've ever read it.

We have our audience and especially those who our Messiah was directing His message to, the pharisees. While we want to rid ourselves of preconceived notions, we need to recognize our presuppositions. We know who the pharisees are. They are people who kept the Jews under a thumb of law that God never intended to be. This is the people Y'shua is talking to.

Understanding that Y'shua is talking to pharisees, would he be warning them of satan coming to steal kill and destroy? No, He would not. The pharisees were dealing with bigger issues in their lives, issues they had within them.

To get further context we would have to back up further but considering we're only looking at the statement of the thief, and trying to identify what Messiah Y'shua was talking about, we're going to stick with this section.

Y'shua tells the pharisees they are not blind therefore they are not guiltless. He then moves to how to enter the Kingdom of God and how to know those who actually follow Messiah Y'shua by using an analogy of sheep and a shepherd. The pharisees did not understand so Y'shua goes on to explain that He is the gate for the sheep (10:7). All those who came before are thieves and robbers (10:8) but His sheep have not listened to them. In a parallel structure He says again that He is the gate and those who enter through Him will be saved (10:9) but the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (10:10).

Now, we notice that satan is not mentioned or referred to anywhere within the context of this entire discourse. The thieves and robbers that came before were the pharisees. These are the ones who came to steal, kill, and destroy.

How does that affect us? There are several things that churches, pastors, and evangelist are doing today that are contrary to Scripture and they know it. In things like the
prosperity message where they glean the flock of their money with promises of wealth to come, or in seemingly harmless following of worldly traditions like easter, or some denominations who put on strict laws like the pharisees that one would not be saved unless, and even the opposite in the teaching of an easy salvation, the church and many of it's leaders have come to steal, kill, and destroy for followers, attendance, money to pay the bills or pay the pastors. Many follow these different people, instead of seeing what Scripture says, while heading to their eternal doom as warned in Matthew 7:21-23. They are following man while not hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd.

The study of Scripture is so important while forsaking the denominational teachings until such teachings can be proven by the WHOLE Bible and not that ripped from its context.