Read John 17
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me…”” ~ vs. 18-25.
Sent In Jesus Name
In this part of the conclusion of Jesus’ prayer, His words instruct our hearts to know that, just as the Father sent Him into the world, so He now sends us, His followers, into the world. Like Him, we are in the world, but not of it. He deploys us into the world as soldiers of the Kingdom of God, charged with a strategy for making God, His love and His truth known.
God sent Jesus into the world because “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We will cover more on the love aspect of His sending us in the next post. Suffice to say today that just as God sent Jesus, so He sends us, out of love and a desire to reach those lost to relationship. Today we focus on our deployment as those charged with the call to be His people…
Sanctified in Truth
With this realization in heart that God sent Him into the world because of His love for those of it, so Jesus sends us. That love leads to His praying, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”
Truth is vital to unity, beloved, and unity with God and each other through Christ is the goal of truth’s sanctification. We cannot be one together as His body without guidelines that help us know Him, His will, and His way. That plumb-line we stand up to is the truth of the inerrancy of every word given in His Holy Bible.
Jesus chose to sanctify Himself fully to God for His use in fulfilling this Kingdom purpose for our sakes, providing us a pathway to a sanctified life through Christ. He chose for our sakes to know the truth of God, believe that truth, and live His life as led by that truth. Set apart to following the truth laid out by God, He led by example; thus, we now are His people, called and equipped to fully commit ourselves to truth in serving God, just as Jesus did.
Now with His example set to show us the way, He sends us into the world just as the Father sent Him. One thing the Father sent Jesus to accomplish is to correct the false understanding about Him, His will, and His way that was destroying His people, keeping them in discord and disunity. Thus, Jesus chose to know and live truth according to God’s intent, and He sends us into the world with the weapon of truth that protects unity. The question is, will we sanctify ourselves as He did, following His example in taking up the cross of self-denial in order to follow God’s truth in all things.
In the remainder of John 17, we see that Jesus includes us living in this day in this prayer as He prays not only for those with Him in that moment, but for all who believe because of their testimony. Our response to those before us, who believed because of the testimony of these disciples of Jesus and who passed that testimony on with their personal testimony, makes us a part of God’s answer to this prayer of Jesus. In responding to the testimony of God in our day, we become the ones prayed for by Him, us becoming His “sent” ones to this generation in the world. Thus, the baton of faith is passed to us for this age, calling us to bear the testimony of this God who so loves us.
Now we are the deployed of God, sent to bear this testimony of a life of purpose chosen by us in Christ. God’s purpose in sending Jesus and Christ’s in sending us is because of their great love for all. Their purpose for sending us provides understanding for us who are the sent in Jesus name. God sends us so that others may know the truth about Father and His love. Therefore, we must seek to know the truth, setting ourselves apart to live as people of truth, bearing forth His testimony in the world as people alert to our being the beloved of God.
This is the first of our purpose in Christ as the sent: to choose as Jesus did to sanctify self in truth for the sake of those He sends us to, living and speaking the truth of God, so that others may come to know the Father and His great love.
Father, we choose today whom we will serve, whether the god of this world, or You, the true God of all creation. Grant us to choose You today as people set apart to live in truth, made complete in You and made one together as those sanctified in truth. In Jesus, amen.