Guarded – John 17:11-12

“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one…
I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost”

John 17:11b-12a

Jesus’ prayer in John 17 always strikes me as significant. These are the words He chose to say, the prayer He offered on the night He was arrested. Jesus knew what would transpire in the garden. He knew these would be some of the last words His disciples would hear before His death. And His focus was on them and those who would believe because of their testimony, that the Father would keep us and we would be “perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:23).

The Father loves us even as He loves the Son. We cannot understand the depth of this love. But it must fill us with hope. It must strengthen our faith. Our God is almighty, with immeasurable power that even death cannot hinder, and He loves us. Enough to send His Son to suffer and sacrifice Himself in our place. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

In the face of this love, how can we ever doubt His faithfulness? Our God is light. He is truth. He is wisdom and power and might. He rules over all. And He will never lose those who are His. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

In Christ, we are well-guarded. We have been bought with a price, ransomed for God by the blood of His Lamb. Because we are His, because we are called by His name and grafted in as the people of God, we stand on these words:

“He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in,
from this time forth and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:3-8

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