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Gospel of John 17: 6-12 (NIV)
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that scripture would be fulfilled.
“None has been lost”. We could read right past these words in verse 12 if it were not for the fact that John had already recorded Jesus’ saying, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (6: 39). The will of the Father is that, of those given Jesus by the Father, none is to be lost.
For Jesus to say this to his disciples suggests that Jesus knew that his disciples could become lost. Each had the freedom of will that the Father graciously grants to all of creation, including us. Each could have turned away from Jesus when the going got tough.
Jesus knew too that his disciples would encounter spiritual attack. Recall Jesus words: “Simon, Simon, Satan has wanted to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22: 31-32).
Jesus knew how important it was to do the Father’s will: “that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day”. He spoke of this in parables: those of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (all in Luke 15).
Why focus on this? We all need to hear these four words, “None has been lost”, particularly when the going gets tough.
John’s Gospel was written, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20: 31). Jesus’ prayer was not only for the disciples: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one …” (John 17: 20-21).
“None has been lost” includes everyone who has come to Jesus since his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. That includes all today who claim Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
How are you travelling? You might be facing really tough times. You might feel deflated, unappreciated, lacking in energy, health or purpose. Be reassured that, no matter how you feel and how grim matters may appear to be right now, if you are walking with Jesus, fully trusting in him, he will not let you go.