John 17:12-16 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
” 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
The word “kept” as in my previous message, is translated from a greek word which means to guard by keeping an eye on. The word “name” in the New Testament mostly refers in similar context to the authority and power behind that name, see Mark 16:17, Mat 21:9, Luke 10:17. The word “guarded” is translated from a greek word which means to prevent from escaping and lastly, the word “lost” is translated for a Greek word which means “to destroy or to be subject to eternal death”. The words “son of destruction” means “bound to be lost or destined for destruction”.
Jesus is therefore saying in the above verse that He has guarded the disciples by keeping an eye on them while He was on earth. He managed to keep them by the power and authority that God gave to him. Jesus says He has protected them from straying away to the evil one or being taken by the evil one. Jesus says not one of these disciples is subject to eternal death except for the one who was destined to be destroyed. Referring here to Judas and Judas was destined to be destroyed so that scripture can be fulfilled.
The scripture been refered to here is most likely Psam 41:9 which Jesus mentioned in John 13:18. In Acts 1:16, Peter also refered to scripture being fulfilled when it came to Judas. Jesus protection of His disciples is the will of God as seen in John 6:39 and in John 10:28, Jesus said that no one can snatch His disciples away from him. So, clearly Jesus did do the will of God since none of the disciples were lost or on their way to destruction except for Judas. The only other place where one finds the words “son of destruction” is in 2 Thes 2:3 and that refers to the man of lawlessness.
Jesus is therefore saying to God that all the disciples that God has given Him, while on earth, He has protected them from the evil one so that he cannot snatch them away into darkness, and make them subject to destruction by eternal death. Only Judas was lost and that happened not because Jesus failed to protect him but because scripture had to be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
The only other place since John 13, where Jesus spoke these exact words ” and these things I speak in the world”, was in John 15:11. Therefore one can conclude that by these things, Jesus is reffering to everything that He has discussed with the disciples either since John 15:11 or John 13. Either way, Jesus says that these things He speaks while He is in the world, while the disciples can hear from Him directly so that, they may have Jesus’s joy fulfilled in them. The word fulfilled is translated from the greek word which also means to make completely full. Therefore this joy that Jesus has, the disciples will be completely filled by it. In Rom 14:17, Paul says that the kingdom is a matter of righteousness and joy in the Holy Spirit. Heb 12:2, the writer says that we must look up to Jesus who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross. This is most probably the same joy that will now completely fill up the disciples because of what Jesus has sad to them. They will also because of this joy, endure persecution and hardships that comes with being a Christian.
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
Jesus said in John 8:23 that, He is not from this world and in John 15:19, that the world hates the disciples because they are not of this world as they have been chosen out of the world. Jesus pretty much repeats this statement here and adds that He has given them God’s word.
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
Jesus here indicates that He is not asking God to remove the disciples out of the world but, rather He is asking that God guard and protect them from the devil. In 2 Thes 3:3, 1 John 5:18 and Psalm 121:7, all these indicate to us that indeed God will protect and keep us from the evil one and he will not be able to touch us. This must give us an assurance as Christians that we are protected by God Himslef.