My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28 NIV)
I remember carrying Luke in my arms for the first time in the hospital when he was born. Though I had the experience of holding Esther in my arms 4 years earlier, the experience of a parent with a new-born is always something special. I clung to Luke.
No one could snatch Luke out of my hands.
Jesus tells us that as his sheep, we listen to Jesus’ voice. When we respond to Jesus’ voice and follow him, he gives us eternal life and we will never perish. What does this mean for us? What does Jesus mean when he says that we will never perish. Is this meant just for life after death for us? When Jesus says that no one can snatch us out of Jesus’ hand, what does he mean?
As I reflect over my experience with Luke, I realised that eternal life for Jesus with respect to us is more than a post-death experience. I believe that Jesus is saying that he will not let anyone snatch us out of his hand come what may in life. As we go on through the difficulties of life, whatever it is, no one can snatch us out of Jesus’ hands. Whether we have a cancer diagnosis, or a relational difficulty or a financial struggle, no one can snatch us out of Jesus’ hands.
Jesus emphasises the security of his hands in the next verse.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:29-30 NIV)
It is not only the security of Jesus’ hands. It is also the security of the Father’s hands. Jesus says that no one can snatch us out of both Jesus’ and the Father’s hands.