April 7, 2020
All DayCategory: Lenten Devotional
Sanctified by the Truth
“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).
Jesus’ prayer in John 17:6-19 shows his love for us in a very touching way. Our Lord’s ministry on earth is coming to a close. Jesus knows that the next few days will bring agony, pain and ultimately death. Despite all of this, Jesus takes time to plead with his Father for the people who have become his friends and followers.
Interestingly, Jesus does not ask the Father to bring us to a safe place where nothing can happen to us. To the contrary, Jesus clearly wants us to remain part of this world. He wants us to witness to those who don’t know him. Through our example others should be invited to become his friends and followers as well.
At the same time, Jesus knows that, without heavenly support and protection, we will find it very difficult to stand up against the schemes of Satan, the ultimate enemy. Jesus knows how weak we are and how easily we can be tempted into doing the wrong thing. That’s why a large part of Jesus’ prayer reflects his concern for our safety.
The solution cannot possibly come from within us. We will fail, and Jesus in his love is all too aware of that. What then is required for our protection? Jesus has the answer. In today’s verse, Jesus prays, “sanctify them by the truth.” What does he mean by this?
The origin of the word sanctify gives us the first indication: It comes from the Latin “to make holy” which is a translation of the original Hebrew “to set apart; to dedicate.” Although the followers of Jesus will remain part of this world, Jesus has set them apart from it and dedicated them for his service.
The second key word is truth, but here it means much more than “not lying.” The character of God is truth, his message is truth, the redemptive work of Jesus is truth and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is truth.
Now it becomes clear that Jesus wants to protect us by sharing his knowledge of God with us. That was his mission on earth, to reveal to us the full extent of God’s truth. God was so grieved by our lost state that he came to us in Jesus to show us how we can get in contact with him again. If God’s truth is rooted in our thoughts, words and actions, Satan cannot threaten us anymore. Then Jesus’ prayer for us in his darkest hour will have come true!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you have not given up on me although I must have disappointed you many times. I pray that your word will be truly a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Please hold me close to you so that through my life you are visible to those who don’t know you.