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12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.


In verse 12, Jesus harked back briefly to His earthly ministry.

12 While I was with them in the world,

Prior to His departure from the apostles, Jesus kept them safe in the name of the Father.

I kept [guarded] them in Your name.

Jesus kept the apostles’ faith true to the Father’s character, secure during His time on earth. He helped them understand how the Father was with them and protected them from a hostile world. His personal presence would also be with them through any duress they might face in the future.

Those whom You gave Me I have kept;

Jesus kept the apostles from a faltering faith by personal intervention into their lives.

and none of them is lost

The word “lost” means doomed to destruction. There are those who are destined to perish should they not embrace the gospel. There was no genuine exception to losing faith among the apostles because they truly believed in Jesus. There was no flaw in His protection of genuine believers. Jesus perfectly carried out protection of the 11 apostles’ faith.

except the son of perdition,

“The son of perdition” is Judas (Jn 13:2, 27). He was no exception to Jesus protecting genuine apostles. Judas was never a genuine sheep of Jesus.

There is a play on words between the word “lost” and “perdition.” The idea is “the perishing one perished.” This was a person characterized by lostness. Judas never became a believer and went into a Christless eternity when he died. He was chosen to an office of being with the apostles, yet in the face of that he remained belligerent toward Jesus.

The name “son of perdition” is also used of the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was in God’s sovereign plan. He concurred with these events to a tee (Ps 41:9, 10).


Every community of Christians harbors traitors among them.


God takes into account the volition and free acts of men (Ac 2:23; 4:28). Judas was no automaton; he acted by his own will. He was an unbeliever from the beginning. He never lost his salvation because he was never a believer in the first place. He was a phony and pretender. Jesus exposed him as a fraud. Jesus never lost any of His genuine sheep (Jn 10:26-30).

Every genuine community of believers harbors traitors. The church will always have skeptics and apostates in it.