In a scriptural text where Jesus speaks of his deity, his oneness with the Father, he also assures his disciples that no one can remove them from his hand. In the same text where Jesus insists that those who do not recognize him are not his sheep he claims that his true sheep hear his voice and follow him. In that same text Jesus speaks of his knowledge of us, his care of us and the care of his Father.
“But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:26-30)
This is an amazing coupling, the assurance of God’s children and the insistence on Jesus’ oneness with God the Father. And surely one rests within the other. Calvin writes:
He intended to meet the jeers of the wicked; for they might allege that the power of God did not at all belong to him, so that he could promise to his disciples that it would assuredly protect them. He therefore testifies that his affairs are so closely united to those of the Father, that the Father’s assistance will never be withheld from himself and his sheep.But before this Calvin explaining the line, “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand,” writes, “Christ infers that the salvation of believers is not exposed to the ungovernable passions of their enemies, because, ere they perish, God must be overcome, who has taken them under the protection of his hand.”
To be taken under the protection of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to be united with a King who has already won our ultimate battle- this is astonishing.