Jesus gives us a definite sense of His joy here in the gospel of John when He says He gives us eternal life, and that we “will never perish – ever!” Jesus says:
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
We are the Father’s gift to His Son. The Father “is greater than all.” The Son and the Father “are one.” We are firmly held in God’s hand — and He never lets go! No one has the power to “snatch [us] out of [His] hand.” No one, especially not our adversary. Satan may very well prowl around seeking to devour us, but He can’t. We may struggle to escape God’s grasp, but once we are His, we are His. We are a possession worth keeping, says Jesus. We are worth protecting because His blood purchased us; and His blood is too precious to waste.
Does this mean we can relax and do whatever we want? Hardly! Or, as Paul says, “By no means!” Rather, Jesus’ precious blood calls us to live — not only for Him — but because of Him! Though grace increases with sin, we are not to go on sinning! The prodigal son comes home; he doesn’t go back to the pigs to wallow in mud and eat moldy corn husks. Neither should we!
If we look to Jesus, to what we know of Him through the four gospels — we should see, I think, a man who loves beyond measure, and who is overall not prone to judge. But we should also see a man who, when He does judge, has a swift and terrible judgment.
Three moments come to mind — the tomb of Lazarus, the parable of the Prodigal son and the withering of the fig tree.
Jesus weeps before He raises Lazarus from death.
Jesus completely forgives the son who disobeys his father and squanders life.
But, He completely withers a fig tree that does not produce fruit for Him in due season.
Jesus cries over the ultimate consequence of sin. He weeps that His friend, Lazarus must experience death. This sorrow despite the fact that Jesus knows He is capable of raising Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus understands human weaknesses. He knows people lose themselves. He rejoices when they find the way back to who He means them to be. His relishes finding the one; and He throws a great party.
Jesus expects results. He gives a gift. He demands that we use that gift to His glory. The consequences are hard to fathom — I don’t believe the consequence is a loss of Him, but a loss nevertheless. The fig tree still stands, but it is withered. This tree will never produce fruit — it is a fruit tree without fruit. Not much sadder than that.
Jesus says that He washes our feet. He has cleaned our whole; now He need only wash our feet. He calls on us to wash one another’s feet.
“Truly, truly; I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his master. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13: 16, 17)