What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “I Have Lost One?”
Calvinist and Armenians both agree that Judas was lost and when to hell. In fact, it is a well-understood doctrine within the church that Judas went to hell because he was never a true believer. This view is an assumption with no hard scripture evidence. The only close evidence could be Jesus’ own statement, “I have lost one.” Or some may say, “See, if Jesus said he had lost one then one was lost and went to hell.” The word “lost” never means hell. In fact that Greek word means, to destroy.
“But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matt 10:6
“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Matt 18:11
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” Lk 15:4
But somehow we make the words of Jesus in John 17:12 to say that lost means hell and spiritually lost.
In the words of Jesus:
“While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Jn 17:12
How was it that the Father gave Jesus 12 disciples and one of them became lost? The Calvinist would say, “Because Judas was never a true believe so he was lost and went to hell.” Well that can be easily be disproved by the scriptures. The Armenians would say, “Judas sinned and killed himself without repentance and thus, was lost spiritually and went to hell.” The Calvinist and Armenians would both say that Judas was lost and went to Hell. However, the Word of God does not agree with either Calvinist or Armenians!
To understand John 17:12 completely and not to “sensationalize” it, we need to read the interrelated verse quoted by Jesus as Judas handed him over to the Scribes and Pharisees:
“Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.” Jn 18:8,9 KJV
“Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.' This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, 'I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.'” NRSV
If this statement is true and we can be assure that it is, then the “lost” in John 17:12 and John 18:9, does not pertain to any “salvation message,” or being “Never Saved” or “going to Hell.” On the contrary, it has to do directly with “physical death.” Moreover, Jesus was not referring to, physical taken from him, for after Jesus finished talking to the group, they took him away and the disciples fled:
“But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled”. Matt 26:56
Jesus did not want to have a physical conflict with a “cohort” (about 600 soldiers)of men, thus losing all the disciples to a slaughter. Do you think that Jesus was afraid that the eleven would “go to hell” over him being captured?
To show the Jesus did not want any of his disciples “lost” (destroyed, killed) we only have to go back and see the actions of Peter when he tries to get them all killed:
“When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” Lk 22:49
“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” Jn 18:10,11
“For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matt 26:52,53
Jesus was not referring that in Matt 26:52 meant anyone who kills with the sword will also be killed with the sword. (See Romans 13:4 below) However, he was referring to the twelve disciples, (Judas included) that if they would fight anyone there with the sword, they would ALL PERISH or be lost because it would be a slaughter—600 to 12. Jesus did not want any of them to be lost (destroyed).
So the conclusion to, What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “I Have Lost One?” Has nothing to do with one being spiritually lost because he did not believe in the Son of God, but because of physical death that Jesus lost one.
You can read more on this topic of Judas in my E-book entitled, Judas Iscariot: Catalyst of Humanity’s Salvation.
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