Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
John 17:13-19 (NIV)
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Shortly after Jesus said the things we read yesterday, he prays for his disciples. Today we read a short part of that prayer, where he prays for their joy. Consider what a gift it is that the Son of God and Lord of lord’s is personally praying for your joy! As Jesus does this, he excludes one of our wishes. We often wish God would just remove us from the painful difficulties of this world, but Jesus doesn’t ask for that (v. 15). Rather, he prays that we would know God’s truth so that we can live in the world without falling for the temptation of the devil’s lies. This truth ‘sanctifies’ us. ‘Sanctify’ means “make separate.” When we are ‘holy,’ we are different than other people, because we know we are loved and forgiven, and God has invited us into a personal relationship with him. So we no longer waste our energy on self-salvation projects, but enjoy the life that our Savior has given us for free.