“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
John 17:17-19

I never caught this before. Do you see it? For us, Jesus sanctified himself. But what does that mean?

Sanctify: Merriam-Webster

  1. To set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use
  2. to free from sin
  3. to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability or respect or to give moral or social sanction
  4. to make productive of holiness or piety

I’m not sure I can fully process what it means to be sanctified. To be set apart for a holy purpose. Jesus saves us, sets us apart, forgives our sins, and calls us holy for a purpose. This purpose is to reveal God to the world. 

How are we sanctified? Only by the truth of God. And God’s Word is truth. Once again, Jesus calls us to live out the Word of God, and to do that we must know the Word of God. 

Jesus set himself apart by taking up the cross and by overcoming sin and death. He did this for us…for you and for me. And He offers us the gift of sanctification. He longs to make us truly set apart from the world by freeing us from sin and giving us sacred purpose. That purpose takes place here on this earth, “I have sent them into the world.” 

Jesus called us to be many things: light, shepherds, branches, builders, etc. But we can’t do any of this effectively if we aren’t sanctified by Christ. Our holiness comes not from ourselves, but from Jesus who died for us and the Holy Spirit who resides within us. 

Continue to think about this passage throughout the week. Sanctification isn’t old fashioned or outdated. Sanctification is a gift that is opened by filling our hearts and minds with the Word of God. It is one of Jesus’ prayers for us. 

May sparks of God’s glory sanctify you as you seek God in His Word.