|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in the world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthened for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holy Father, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory, that they might be united in affection and labours, even according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not pray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, that they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and from the power and craft of Satan. So that they might pass through the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done. They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation. The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.
Verse 12. - While I was with them (in the world). He speaks of the earthly ministry as completed, and reviews the whole of his influence over them. I kept them in thy Name which thou hast given me. The very process that I can no longer pursue, and the cessation of which becomes the ground of the plea for the Father's τηρήσις. This an earthly father might say, without irreverence, of children whom he was about to leave, but the quality of the keeping is characterized by the Divine Name which was given him, and that manifested the Sonship which carried with it all the revelation of the Father. And I guarded (them) - ἐτήρουν signifies watchful observation; ἐφύλαξα, guardianship as behind the walls of a fortress - and not one perished - went to destruction - except that the son of perdition (has perished). Christ does not say that the son of perdition was given him by the Father and guarded from the evil one, and yet had gone to his own place; the exception refers simply to the "not one perished." Αἰ μὴ has occasionally a meaning not exactly equal to ἀλλὰ, but expresses an exception which does not cover the whole of the ideas involved in the previous clause (see Matthew 12:4; Luke 4:26, 27; Galatians 1:19, etc.). This awful Hebraistic phrase is used by St. Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3; cf. 2 Samuel 12:5) for antichrist, and numerous phrases of the kind show how a genitive following υἱὸς or τέκνον expresses the full characteristic or the chief feature of certain persons (thus cf. υἱὸς γεένης τέκνα φῶτος κατάρας, etc.). This victim of perdition, this child of hell, has completed his course; even now he has laid his plans for my destruction and his own. He has so perished in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Even if the full telic force of ἵνα is preserved here, he does not free the "son of perdition" from the responsibility of his own destruction. The Scripture portraiture of Messiah has been realized. Psalm 41:9, which has already been quoted by our Lord in John 13:18, is probably still in his mind (cf. also Isaiah 57:12, 13). Some commentators - Arch-deacon Watkins, Dean Alford - press the fact that the "son of perdition" must have been among those who were given to Christ by the Father, who were watched, guarded, taught by God; but that Judas nevertheless took his own way and went to his own place. Thoma compares the lost disciple with the lost sheep of the synoptists, as though we had a reference to a true reprobate, a son of Belial, Apollyon, and the like. Moulton justly protests against any countenance being found here for the irrevocable decree. But if the interpretation of the εἰ μὴ given above is sound, there is no inclusion of the traitor among those who are "of the truth," etc.; but he was one who, notwithstanding boundless opportunity, went to his own place in the perversity of his own will.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
While I was with them in the world,.... This does not imply that Christ was not in the world now, for he was; but signifies that he was just going out of it; and that his continuance in it was very short: nor that he was, and would be no longer with his disciples; for this is to be understood of his bodily, not of his spiritual presence; in which respect Christ is with his people whilst they are on earth, and they are with him when he is in heaven:
I kept them in thy name; by his Father's authority and power, in his doctrine:
those that thou gavest me I have kept; that is, those that were given him to be his apostles;
and none of them is lost; these he kept close to himself, and from the evil of the world, and from temporal and eternal ruin:
but the son of perdition; Judas, a child of Satan, whose name is Apollyon the destroyer, who was now about to betray his Lord and master; and was one that was appointed to eternal ruin and destruction, of which he was justly deserving; and which is no instance of the apostasy of saints, since though he was given to Christ as an apostle, yet not in eternal election, to be saved by him:
that the Scripture might be fulfilled; this respects either Christ's keeping of his people, and their final perseverance, whereby the Scriptures that speak of it are fulfilled; or rather the destruction of Judas, whereby such passages as speak of that, have their accomplishment, particularly Psalm 109:8; Some have thought that this only refers to the general sense of the Scriptures, both the law and prophets; that some are chosen to everlasting life, and others are appointed to wrath; that some are saved, and others lost; some sons of God, and others sons of perdition; but it rather seems to regard some particular passage or passages of Scripture relating to Judas, his character, condition and end, and which are very manifestly pointed at, in the psalm referred to;
"As for the servants whom I have given thee, there shall not one of them perish; for I will require them from among thy number.'' (2 Esdras 2:26)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. I kept—guarded.
them in thy name—acting as Thy Representative on earth.
none of them is lost, but the son of perdition—It is not implied here that the son of perdition was one of those whom the Father had given to the Son, but rather the contrary (Joh 13:18) [Webster and Wilkinson]. It is just as in Lu 4:26, 27, where we are not to suppose that the woman of Sarepta (in Sidon) was one of the widows of Israel, nor Naaman the Syrian one of the lepers in Israel, though the language—the same as here—might seem to express it.
son of perdition—doomed to it (2Th 2:3; Mr 14:21).
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