Jesus’ Prayer For Our Sanctification
What a pleasant thing it is to be recognized because of admirable acts, or to be honored because of unique milestones. We can be distinguished and held in high regard because of our thinking and actions that lead to honor. Jesus, in His prayer, sought for His followers to be distinguished. He called it being “sanctified” (John 17).
What does it mean to be sanctified? The literal meaning of sanctification, in the context of this passage, is to be holy, purified or consecrated. Jesus’ prayer for His followers’ sanctification was a prayer that our mentality and our conduct would be set on a high plane. Being sanctified begins with the mindset. We cannot expect to be distinguished by our deeds unless we are first heightened by our hearts – our mindset. My mentor, whose last name is Jones, often speaks of the elevating mindset instilled in him by his parents. “There are some things that Joneses don’t do,” they told him repeatedly. His belief, that Joneses were different, elevated his behavior. His life-long accomplishments are distinguishing, as a result of his differentiating mindset. Jesus’ prayer is a plea for our spiritual mentality. We can be spiritually notable, in mind and in manner, because Christ prayed for our sanctification. Christ’s prayer was an appeal for us to be holy.
From what are we to be sanctified? Note Christ’s emphasis on the fact that His followers were “in the world” before and after His petition for our sanctification (John 17:16-19). Clearly, He implored The Father to differentiate the disciples from the world, although we are in the world. The Apostle Paul’s admonition for us to “be not conformed to this world” is the same thing that Christ had in mind (Romans 12:2). As Christians, we are as islands of spirituality in a sea of carnality. We are to be sanctified from the errant ways of the world.
By what means do we receive sanctification? God’s Truth! We achieve based on what we believe. Jesus prayed – “Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). We climb to God’s saving plane of sanctification by ascending the stairs of His truth. How do we become Christians? We obey the gospel by following the spiritual steps of truth – hearing and believing God’s truth, repenting from our sinfulness, confessing the truth of Christ, as God’s son and being baptized according to truth. How do we build spiritual mindsets and conduct ourselves as spiritual beings? We do so by scaling the heights of His truth to eliminate our worldly ways. We climb the “rough side of the mountain” walking the truthful path that Jesus trod. How, while on earth, can we “slip the surly bonds” of earthiness? Jesus gave the answer: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).
May God bless us to be holy, differentiated from the world and distinguished by His truth – sanctified. May God bless the Schrader Lane Church of Christ.