An Pressing Plea
Keep in mind that the very centerpiece of Jesuss prayer as our nice excessive priest is an earnest, pressing plea for our sanctification. Take into account the bigger context of that prayer request. It’s the evening of Jesuss betrayal. John 18:Four tells us Jesus knew completely all the pieces that was about to occur to him. He absolutely understood what an unimaginably fearsome value he would pay for the sins of his individuals, and naturally he dreaded it. Keep in mind how he prayed for himself that evening in Gethsemane. He was in excruciating agonyliterally sweating blood. But he declared his heartfelt willingness to do the Fathers good will. He however additionally expressed a wonderfully human want to keep away from, if doable, the cup of wrath he can be requested to drink on behalf of his chosen ones. The magnitude of the burden on his coronary heart that evening was such that the depth of his souls affliction can hardly be described in any human language. He didn’t exaggerate when he instructed Peter, James, and John, My soul may be very sorrowful, even to demise (Matt. 26:38).
And but earlier than he made that prayer for himself, he prayed for his personal. The prayer of John 17 passed off that very same night simply after that they had shared the Passover meal collectively, and instantly earlier than Jesus went to Gethsemane. Judas had already left the gathering to promote Jesus for the value of a slavethirty items of silverand Jesus clearly understood what Judas was as much as (John 13:2130). With a lot weighing on our Lords coronary heart and thoughts, though he was clearly desperate to get to the backyard the place he may pray just about alone in utter agony, it’s important that he stopped to hope aloud (within the listening to of the eleven remaining disciples) the prayer recorded in John 17.
He lifts his eyes to heaven and says an extended prayer for themnot for everybody indiscriminately, however particularly for the disciples. I’m praying for them. I’m not praying for the world however for these whom you will have given me, for they’re yours (John 17:9). And as we famous at first, this prayer shouldn’t be just for the twelve however for all of the elect of all coming generations. I don’t ask for these solely, but in addition for many who will consider in me by way of their phrase (John 17:20).
Veteran pastor John MacArthur makes the case that Jesuss ardour for his individuals is sanctification and encourages pastors to revolve their ministry across the growing sanctification of their members by way of preaching and discipleship.
Sanctified and Unified
Now take a look at his particular requests. After rehearsing intimately how he has faithfully fulfilled the mission he was given in his incarnation (John 17:111), he enumerates his requests for his individuals. He prays for his or her preservation and for unity amongst them: Hold them in your identify, which you will have given me, that they might be one, whilst we’re one (John 17:11). He expresses a want to see his pleasure fulfilled in them (John 17:13). And he asks the Father to maintain them from the evil one (John 17:15). Every of these requests really amplifies and expounds on the theme of the entire prayernamely the request of verse 17: Sanctify them within the reality; your phrase is reality.
For instance, the prayer for religious unity is a thread that runs by way of the entire chapter. Jesus makes that request repeatedly, praying many times, that they might all be one, simply as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that in addition they could also be in us (John 17:21); that they might be one whilst we’re one (John 17:22); and that they might grow to be completely one (John 17:23). Such unity is feasible solely amongst sanctified disciples. So implicit within the request for believers religious unity is the plea for his or her sanctification. The identical factor is true relating to their pleasure, their preservation, and their Christlike love. All of these issues are vital expressions of true holiness. Your entire prayer due to this fact displays the precedence of sanctification as Christs will for his individuals.
The Lord Jesus Christ in his incarnation sanctified himself (lived in good holiness) to be able to sanctify his individuals within the reality.
Discover additionally that in each part of the prayer, Christ himself is the mannequin of what he desires his individuals to be: They aren’t of the world, simply as I’m not of the world (John 17:14, 16). As you despatched me into the world, so I’ve despatched them into the world (John 17:18). For his or her sake I consecrate myself, that in addition they could also be sanctified in reality (John 17:19). [I ask] that they might be one whilst we’re one (John 17:22). I want that in addition they, whom you will have given me, could also be with me the place I’m (John 17:24).
Lastly, he asks the Father that the love with which you will have cherished me could also be in them, and I in them (John 17:26). Verse 19 is particularly telling. The Lord Jesus Christ in his incarnation sanctified himself (lived in good holiness) to be able to sanctify his individuals within the reality. He thus gave us an ideal mannequin to comply with. Particularly, Christ . . . suffered for you, leaving you an instance, so that you just would possibly comply with in his steps. He dedicated no sin, neither was deceit present in his mouth. When he was reviled, he didn’t revile in return; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, however continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his physique on the tree, that we’d die to sin and stay to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:2124). In different phrases, all the pieces he did all through his earthly life was to set us free from the bondage of sin in order that we’d grow to be servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).
Jesus is the one who taught Paul to pursue sanctification within the energy of the Spirit so that he may be an instance and an instrument for the sanctification of the individuals given into his care. Thats how Paul may say, Be imitators of me, as I’m of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1); Brothers, take part imitating me (Phil. 3:17); and Brothers, I entreat you, grow to be as I’m (Gal. 4:12).
This text is customized from Sanctification: Gods Ardour for His Folks by John MacArthur.