28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
And I give them [believers] eternal life,
Jesus gives to His disciples eternal life, not temporal life until they sin again. Once He gives eternal life, no one loses it. To speak of eternal life ending at some point is a violation of the extant idea of eternality.
The emphasis here is on Jesus giving eternal life. This is not something we earn or deserve. He gives us this kind of life freely. Since it is the Savior who does the giving of eternal life, we do nothing to earn salvation. Because we did nothing to earn our salvation, we can do nothing to lose it.
The idea of “eternal life” in Scriptures places emphasis both on its quantity and quality. This life is of a particular kind, not only life that goes on without end.
and they shall never perish;
The word “never” is very strong in the Greek—”not ever perish” (double negative making it emphatic). There is no possible way a person can lose his or her salvation.
neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
Jesus commits Himself to never allowing His sheep to lose their salvation. The security of the sheep depends on the Shepherd, not on the sheep.
The word “snatch” was used of a wolf’s attack to carry away its prey. No foreign entity will rob us of our salvation. The idea of “snatch” is to wrestle something from someone by force. No one has the capacity to steal our salvation from us. Jesus guarantees eternal salvation at the point of belief because the onus of keeping our salvation is His.
The expression “my Father” means that the sonship of the Son of God is altogether unique (Jn 1:14).
who has given [entrusted] them to Me,
This phrase harks back to John 6:37-39. Jesus’ protecting power is that of the Father.
is greater than all;
No one is stronger than the Father. The Father keeps our salvation by omnipotent power.
and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
No one or system can cause believers to lose their salvation, because the Father holds them in His “hand.” The salvation of the believer is held firmly in two omnipotent hands: (1) the hand of the Son and (2) the hand of the Father. There is joint agreement between the Father and Son that the believer is eternally secure.
The Father and Jesus jointly guarantee that no genuine believer will lose his or her salvation.
Continuance in eternal life does not depend on our feeble attempts. It is not our weak hold on Him but His hold on us that keeps our salvation. God must be consistent with Himself and His promises; therefore, He cannot go back on His word by letting us lose our salvation.
God works to preserve genuine sheep. The Shepherd protects His sheep from the enemy (Jn 10:28-30). The guarantee of our salvation rests on the power of the Father.
When it comes to our passage, some people are willing to deny the plain statements of Scripture. They are so committed to the idea that people can lose their salvation that they deny this passage for what it says.