In John 10:10, Jesus contrasts himself with Satan, our great adversary and tempter. In the oft-quoted verse, Jesus unequivocally declares the following: John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This life ‘to the full’ that our Lord describes can apply to all areas, but I want to bring it in to the area of our sexuality.
When this declaration is coupled with the Christ’s teaching on the place for sex, it sounds almost unbelievable to the world we find ourselves in. In essence, His teaching is that the act of sex is a gift of God exclusively intended for a husband and wife, in the marriage covenant, for the purposes of oneness, intimacy, bearing children and pleasure. If we accept all this alongside John 10:10, it is as though Christ would say to us: if you come to Me as your source of life, you can experience this life to the full, whether this is in the context of marriage (where he gave the gift of sex), or as someone unmarried (where he gave the gift of celibacy).
If we were to be honest, many of us would find this absurd. Why? Perhaps it is because we believe that WE are the best arbiters of what our ‘life to the full’ should look like. If our ambit of life to the full is different to that of Christ’s, we should pause and reconsider. After all, we are dealing with God Incarnate, who was willing to give himself up in an excruciating manner, even for his enemies. Words from such a person are not to be trifled with.
Suppose we do consider his incredible claim, not only in the area of sex, but in every area that we seek pleasure. If we do so seriously, honestly and historically, we will find that none of these things truly satisfy the human heart. Secondly, we will find that Jesus does not only make claims on what is morally right in the sense of outward do’s and don’ts, but also claims on what will fulfil the human heart the most, as he does here.
By that token, we can surmise that our life will be lived to its fullest, not when we have drunk our fill of pleasure itself, but when we come to Him as the ultimate pleasure, whether we are married, single, divorced or relationally complicated. CS Lewis said it best when he wrote the following: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Once we become convinced that Jesus offers us the greatest pleasure, and that what he says on sex and everything else is for our life to the full, we’re halfway there.
Tendai Chitsike, Every Nation Church