2021_12_13 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- John 17-18
I believe John chapter 17 is one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible. The thought that I was on Jesus’ mind and in His prayer right before his arrest and crucifixion blows me away. In reading this chapter with chapter 18, a verse leaped off the page:
“For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” John 17:19 NIV
In this verse, Jesus prays for His disciples. His prayer later includes anyone who receives His message of salvation through His disciples after His death. That’s you and me. Let’s take a look at this verse in another translation:
“And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.” John 17:19 NLT
The word sanctify means to set apart for a particular purpose, typically sacred or religious. To sanctify is to make pure, free from sin. Jesus was without sin, so He didn’t need to be sanctified, but in this verse, we see Him giving Himself to make way for us to be sanctified. He sacrificed Himself to open the door for our reconciliation with God. Without Jesus as our sacrifice, we would be forever separated from God.
Our salvation is a one-time experience that occurs when we accept the incredible gift that Jesus gave to us. But our sanctification is an ongoing process of being made holy by the truth of God. It’s how we change and grow. Back up to verse 17, and you see Jesus say, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” The process implies not just knowing God’s word but living in accordance with it. It’s part of what Jesus described in John 15 as “abiding” or “remaining” in Him. Yes, I believe we are to study and apply the Bible to our lives, but Jesus Himself is the Word made flesh who made His dwelling among us (see John 1:14). It’s only through getting to know Jesus as intimately as possible that we become sanctified. Jesus gave Himself so that we could be “truly sanctified.”
Reading, studying, praying – all these are vital to our growth, but so is sitting in silence in Jesus’ presence, listening for anything He may want to communicate. Worship and praise Him when it’s just the two of you – you don’t have to wait for a Sunday service. Instead, stop throughout your day to talk to Him or have a moment of silence to re-focus on whose you are. Don’t miss Jesus in the hectic activities of Christmas. He’s waiting for you.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach