John 18.7-9 cont.
7 Then again He asked them: “Who are you looking for?” Then they said: “Jesus of Nazareth”.
8 Jesus replied: “I told that I Am He. If then it is Me that you are looking for, allow these men to go.”
9 This was so that the word He had spoken might be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those whom You have given to Me”.
It is assumed that Jesus was referring to what He had said during His prayer in the previous chapter and verse 12:
“When I was with them I kept and guarded them by Your Name, which You gave to Me, and none of them were lost, except the son of perdition, so that the scriptures should be fulfilled.”
As we can see it is not an exact quote, word for word. Apparently this kind of literary work was not uncommon in the ancient world. What John has recorded is the actual substance of what Jesus had prayed.
We may find that there are times when we do the same. If we are asked to repeat something that another person has said, it is more than probable that we will not repeat ourselves word for word. However, the sense of what we say will be exactly the same.
Once again we see the concern of Jesus for those whom the Father had given to Him that they should be free from drinking the same cup of suffering that He had to drink.
John may also have been thinking back to the words of Jesus that he had written in chapter 6.39:
39 But this is the will of the One who sent Me, that I should not lose any of those whom He has given to Me, but I should raise them up in the last day.
40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
As we have already seen this was not the time for the disciples to lay down their lives. If they had have been arrested along with Jesus, and if they had have been crucified along with Him, they would not have had the joy of receiving Him as their resurrected Lord.
It was necessary for the disciples to remain in their physical bodies to see Him with their physical eyes in His resurrected form.
The whole purpose for our remaining on this earth is to serve Jesus and to experience more and more of His resurrected power whilst in our physical state.