Spiritual Work
John 17:18-19
As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.…

Here are remarkable parallels, comparisons, connections: — "As — so," "Thou — Me," "I — them." "I sanctify Myself that they might be sanctified." The main thought of the text will come out under three words —

I. COMMISSION — "As Thou hast sent Me," &c. This is a style of speech which we find often in the lips of Christ; it indicates His unique personality. He says, for instance, in John 5., "As the Father raiseth up the dead," &c. He assumes and asserts prerogatives which belong to God. He does so here. This is the grandest act of God. All that we know of God seems to be consecrated in this act: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." God, the Holy, saw with intense repugnance the pollution of men; God, the Creator, saw with grief the obliteration of His image in man. But the God of salvation had the thought of salvation. "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn," &c. What a wonderful parallel — "Thou didst send Me, and I send Thee!"

1. Take all the missionaries, preachers, teachers, devoted servants of God, all together, they do not equal the one Jesus. No; the parallel cannot be traced strictly in regard to the person sent, nor in regard to the special purpose of the sending. The specific purpose for which Christ came was to redeem men by His own precious blood. He trod the wine-press alone. Our blood, the blood of our martyrs, does not mingle with His atoning blood. But when we have said that we may say that there is a very close parallel between the Father's sending of Christ and of Christ sending of His apostles; for just as the great Father sees the world Christ sees it. And He has the Father's love; for does not He give Himself? Furthermore, He is with men, just as the great Father was always with His Son. And so Christ says: "I am with you always. Go, teach all nations."

2. Then, although we have a distinction between the persons, they are living men whom Christ sends, not books, messages, letters. We may print the gospel in all the languages of the world, and send them to all the world; but it will not save the world. Christ said: "I will send you." You must go out, living men and women, sinners saved, hearts through whom the great love has passed — you must be able to say: "This is a faithful saying," &c.

3. The sphere is the same. It is very interesting that though Christ confines His movements to a very small spot, yet He says, "I am come into the world." If the Prince of Wales had landed in Ireland, just visited Dublin, and then come home again, he might truly have been said to visit Ireland; and Christ comes to Palestine and says, "I have come into the world." He annexed the world by that act — linked it on to Himself. But it is needful that in a more literal sense the great Christ should visit the world; and so He chooses these men and says: "I send you into the world. Go into all the world," &c.

4. And He sends them with the same purpose, "Go to save." This is a very ennobling parallel. It is not a mere political or military mission, or a scientific undertaking; it is like that great act of God in sending down His Son — it is, indeed, an expansion of that act.


1. Whenever an honest man accepts an office his next thought will be, "How can I best prepare for it?" The high priest must be born of the tribe of Levi — he must be without blemish personally; and after that there must be special ceremonies; and then he is consecrated, and may go within the veil. But is there anything so sublime as this the Son of God saying: "I sanctify Myself"? And do you notice He used the present tense — "I am sanctifying Myself"? Although the life of our Lord on earth was brief, He retained His connection with the human race. So we regard that thirty years, especially the last three, as a period of consecration on the part of the great Saviour. He was sanctified by His daily obedience, prayerfulness, self-denial; by His fierce, but always resisted, temptations; by His Gethsemane agony; by the Cross.

2. It is a solemn thought that we are to consecrate ourselves after the manner of Christ. We do not know much about it. We sing hymns of consecration, and there are some few consecrated people among us; but the average Christian is not a consecrated person. No; his religion is rather a matter of convenience — it is not allowed to interfere with his ordinary human life; but we are to make it, by the grace of God, like Christ's — a consecrated life. Now, that means we must set apart a life that gathers about one idea; it means, not the waters which are spread vaguely over a level surface, but the waters that are confined within deep banks and flow straight on; it means, not lines that are drawn in all directions, but radical lines that converge towards a centre. It means, therefore, that just as Christ fixed His thought upon the saving of the world, we should have our thoughts fixed on the saving of the world. As He regarded Himself as being here for no other purpose, we should regard ourselves as being here for no other purpose.


1. Christ consecrated Himself; He could do that. Can you or I have that strength to take this heavy, dull, carnalized humanity of ours and consecrate it? No; it mocks our endeavour, and we seem to lie a heavy carnal mass still. But see what Christ says: "I do this for their sakes." So we share in His own consecration. Thus He was a typical man, in whom, in a certain sense, humanity is contained; and His consecration is potentially the consecration of men.

2. His consecration is our complete atonement, the removal of all our guilt. Oh, what a blessed step that is towards consecration to know that your sins are forgiven!

3. And this consecration of Christ brings all heavenly blessing down; it wins the Spirit for us, and is the substance of Divine truth; so that through the truth, getting these thoughts of God's into our minds, and these great facts, and these holy influences, we become sanctified through the truth.

(S. Hebditch.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

WEB: As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.

Sanctification Seen in Little Things
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