Summary: God protects and keeps us so that He can use us for His glory.
Jesus, the God-man: Gospel of John
“Safe in God’s Strongbox”
Introduction: When I was a kid I was always fascinated by my parents’ strong box. It was kept on a shelf, it was really heavy and I was told that it was fireproof. It was also locked so that my brother and I could not look inside it. When we asked what they kept in it my parents would just say important papers that they wanted to protect. Since I have gotten older and I am their executor, my parents let me look in their strongbox and they were right – just papers.
People use these fireproof strongboxes all the time to guard and protect valuables from fire and theft. What it contains must be available should they become needed like wills and other important documents or to protect people from misusing them like guns.
Did you know God treats us in the same way? He protects us and keeps us available to be used for His purposes. Jesus completes praying for His disciples and in so doing helps us to understand what it means to be “safe in God’s strongbox”.
1. We are guarded by God. (vv. 11-12)
“I am no longer in the world” – Speaks of future events as if they have already happened.
“are in the world” – His concern is for His disciples and not Himself. He is about to go to the cross and He is thinking of them. You cannot read these words and then turn around and say Jesus does not care about you.
“come to you” – in prayer and in a few days literally will come to the Father.
“Holy Father” – His focus is on the Father’s holiness. This is what heaven is like as well. The emphasis is on the holiness of God.
Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. Revelation 15:4 (NIV)
Based on this holiness, He will make His next request.
“keep” – Guard, protect, or attend to carefully.
“through Your name” – His name is on the line, His reputation and holiness is at stake. His keeping involves His character.
He wants us to be kept because holiness is what matters. Remember how He addressed the Father?
As a quaint old writer said, "It is more wonderful to maintain a candle in a bucket of water than in a lantern." –A.W. Pink (1886-1952), Exposition of John
Which is why the psalmist warns is Psalm 97:10:
Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 97:10 (NIV)
Why does He keep us? So we will be one like the trinity. Jesus wants us to be unified. He wants unity not uniformity.
v. 12 _ “I have been protecting and guarding them while I have been here because You gave them to Me.
“lost none” – He does not lose or misplace you.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
John 13:1 (NIV)
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:5 (NIV)
“except” – The one that never belonged to Him in the first place. Judas’ choice was to betray and leave – to ignore the offer of salvation and in so doing fulfill Scripture.
“son of perdition” – The child of the devil. It suggests an abandoned character, one utterly lost and given over to evil.
Like Judas, you too have a choice. You can be a child of the devil or a child of God.
2. We do not belong to the world. (vv. 13-16)
“in the world” – While I am still here.
He prays that His joy would be theirs. It is Jesus’ will that we would keep on having joy. If not then we are outside the will of God and when you are outside His will then joy is the first thing you lose.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
1 John 1:3-4 (NIV)
v. 14 – He has given us the Father’s Word – His mission and the world hates us because of it. The world hates God’s Word!