And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth (John 17:19)
Prior to His arrest, Jesus prayed for His disciples and for all who would become His disciples. When Jesus prayed, His Father answered Jesus’ prayers through Him. Jesus prayed; then, He worked, taught, and sacrificed for His disciples. In John 17:17, Jesus prayed: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Jesus prayed that His Father would use the truth to sanctify His disciples by setting them apart or consecrating them for holy use in God’s service. The Father still sanctifies Jesus’ disciples through Jesus. In John 1:14, John taught, “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is the Father’s Word made human. Jesus prayed the Father would use Him to sanctify His disciples. In John 14:6, Jesus taught His disciples that He is the truth. Jesus prayed that the Father would use the truth to make disciples who would do His will and show the world that the Father had sent Him into the world so believers in Him might not perish but have eternal life. Jesus prayed and then consecrated himself to answering His prayers in truth according to His Father’s will. With Jesus as their example, Jesus’ disciples consecrate themselves to God, for God to do His will through them. Consequently, Jesus’ disciples grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. They experience the joy of Jesus being made complete within them as Jesus prayed in John 17:13. Eventually, as Jesus prayed in John 17:23, some will see that the Father loves all Jesus’ disciples even as He loves Jesus.