Christ's Consecration for His People
John 17:18-19
As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.…

I. THE MISSION OF THE DISCIPLES. "As Thou hast sent Me," &c. They were sent forth —

1. By the same authority as their Master. This language could not be used by any mere man, and is in harmony with "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." When a man knows what he can do, and has to do, he is in the fittest condition for doing it. Jesus knew that He was sent into the world, and for what; and He was equal to it. Whatever authority belonged to the Father in sending the Son into the world, belonged to the Son in sending forth His disciples.

2. For a kindred purpose. Christ was the Light of the world, but His radiance was to shine through them, so that they too were lights of the world. The mission of the Son of God was personal and peculiar, and could neither have extension nor repetition (Hebrews 9:26). To proclaim the power and purpose of His death was the mission of the disciples (connect John 18:37 with 2 Corinthians 4:2). The mission of the Master and that of the disciples coincide in that both were for the glory of God and the salvation of men.

3. To a similar experience. As the world treated the Master, so it treated the servants (John 15:29; Matthew 16:24). And as in the case of the Master, so in the case of His disciples now, "No cross, no crown."

II. THE CONSECRATION OF THE MASTER — "For their sakes," &c.

1. By Christ's sanctifying Himself we are to understand His devotement to the will of the Father, the surrender of Himself as a sacrifice for sin, the climax of which was at hand in the Cross "I sanctify Myself" is the language of One who had perfect control over His own course anal action; who was under no obligation to place Himself in the position of having to utter them. "He came not to be ministered unto," &c. Accordingly, His consecration was sacrificial (2 Corinthians 5:21). In the profoundest sense He consecrated Himself for man; our cause He undertook, our interests He had in view.

2. But how could this consecration be for the sanctification of His disciples? It had what may be called a legal power, making their consecration possible. The sacrifice which the Son of God presented was the ransom price of redemption. If Christ had not become a curse for us, the curse could not have passed from us, and man could not have been sanctified for God. What mere authority could not do, God effected through His only begotten Son. Truth in all its purifying and transforming power reached them through the consecration of their Lord; for thus they saw the things of God as they had never been unfolded before. Truth is —

(1) The element of sanctification, the sphere in which it is realized and enjoyed. It is only when we are in the truth, when we know it, and are in Him that is true, that we can be sanctified.

(2) The instrument. Through its influence within, wielded by the Divine Spirit, the soul becomes weaned from the world, separated from sin, and conformed to the image of God. It is not an outward service, an imposing ritual, an exciting ceremony, which can sanctify, but the truth of God, received into the heart, and applied by the Holy Spirit. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." The entrance of the Divine Word gives light, and light is always for holiness.

(3) The end, so that holiness shall become triumphant in the heart and the history. What is sanctification in every case but the reign of "truth in the inward parts"? To be true men, true to God, true to ourselves, and true to our fellow-creatures — so true in thought and feeling, in word and action, as to clearly reflect the image of our Father, is the highest ambition which as moral creatures we can cherish.

(J. Spence, D. D.)

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.

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