Sanctified in God’s Word

John 17: 11b-19
Acts 20: 28-38 / Ps 68: 29-30, 33-36

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
(John 17:17-18)

Christ prayed for our sanctification,
He gave us love, joy and protection,
And above all, our soul’s salvation
Was the goal of His invitation.

Jesus prayed: “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 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. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them Your Word, and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you to take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, any more than I belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I consecrate myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.” (John 17: 11b-19)

Reflection

In the final hours of His life, we find that our Lord Jesus prayed intensely to His Father on behalf of His apostles. Knowing that He would soon be separated from them, arrested by the temple guards who were coming with Judas, this was His most important prayer, a prayer for their safety, their unity, and for keeping holy the Father’s Name. Aside from keeping them together (united) under God’s protection, Jesus wanted His apostles to retain all the lessons that He had imparted to them in honor of His Father’s Name. Even though He would be away from them only for a short time, Jesus knew that the enemy would try to scatter the apostles by fear, unbelief and intimidation, as he almost succeeded in the case of Simon Peter’s denials and the doubting Thomas. This was how the prince of the world would try to dishonor His Father’s Name. In His prayer, Jesus said, “While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me.” Satan could not touch any of the apostles while Jesus was with them, except Judas, who was “destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.” It gives us great hope who believe that we are God’s children, who will never fall into Satan’s clutches as long as we hold on to the words of Jesus.

These words of Jesus should also make our day: “I speak these things in the world so that they may share my joy completely.” (Jn.17:13) Christians who are confident in the promise of salvation should always have a happy disposition. The atmosphere of joy that we share in our community is the biggest come-on to our breakfast participants who have eventually become members of the Brotherhood. Sister GA’s joyful disposition is particularly infectious. I wonder if she knows that just being naturally happy she has been successful in spreading the Good News to others. May her tribe increase. Naturally, she attributes her goodwill to the fruit of the Holy Spirit and from the Word of God. Jesus said, “I gave them Your Word, and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.” (17:14) The Word of God brings peace and joy that the world cannot give, and this may be the reason why the world cannot understand what we are so happy about.

Finally, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (17:17) Indeed, in the service of God’s Word, we have been sanctified, as in set apart from the things of this world. Jesus has sent us to bring His Truth to the marketplace, and win the marketplace for Him, so that it may be sanctified. For this purpose, we are mandated to immerse ourselves in the Scriptures every day, so that we may be enlightened and fortified by God’s Truth, and be His effective instruments in spreading the Gospel to our mission area.

Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for what we have become, for what we have received, and for making us understand our true purpose in this life. Grant that through the influence of our Lord Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to give witness of Your salvation plan to others. Amen.

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