|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:17-19 Christ next prayed for the disciples, that they might not only be kept from evil, but made good. It is the prayer of Jesus for all that are his, that they may be made holy. Even disciples must pray for sanctifying grace. The means of giving this grace is, through thy truth, thy word is truth. Sanctify them, set them apart for thyself and thy service. Own them in the office; let thy hand go with them. Jesus entirely devoted himself to his undertaking, and all the parts of it, especially the offering up himself without spot unto God, by the eternal Spirit. The real holiness of all true Christians is the fruit of Christ's death, by which the gift of the Holy Ghost was purchased; he gave himself for his church, to sanctify it. If our views have not this effect on us, they are not Divine truth, or we do not receive them by a living and a working faith, but as mere notions.
Verse 18. - As thou didst send me into the world from the glory which I had with thee before the world was - a primal fact in the earthly consciousness of the Lord Christ, and one on which he repeatedly laid emphasis (John 10:36; John 17:8) - even so I sent them into the world; i.e. from that higher sphere of thought above the world to which I had called them. "They are not of the world," but I sent them from the unworldly home and from the high place of my intimate friendship, from the ground of elevated sympathy with myself, into the world, with my message and the power to claim obedience. Christ gave this apostolic commission near the commencement of his ministry (see Matthew 10:5, etc., and Mark 3:14, Ἵνα ω΅σι μετ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν), and that first act, the type of the whole apostolic commission, which was finally confirmed (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 20:21, 22), is here described in the timeless force of the aorist, so that the word embraces the entire ministerial function of all who believe in the mission of the Son.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As thou hast sent me into the world,.... Which does not suppose inequality of nature, nor change of place, nor any force upon him, nor disrespect unto him, or a state of separation from his Father; but that he was before he was sent; that he was a person, a divine distinct person from his Father; and designs the manifestation of him in human nature; and shows, that as Mediator, he had a divine warrant and authority, and was no impostor: what he was sent into the world to do, was in general the will of God; particularly to preach the Gospel, and chiefly and more especially to work out the salvation of his people:
even so have I also sent them into the world; to preach the Gospel likewise: he had already sent them forth on this errand, and in a little time they were to receive a new and enlarged commission for this service; which mission of them to such work, implies great honour put upon them, authority in them, and qualifications with them; and hence success attended them: the place into which they were sent is, "the world"; first the Jewish and then the Gentile world, and every part of it; out of which he would not have them taken; and where they were sure to meet with reproach and persecution; and where God's elect lay, who were to be converted through their ministry; for the work they were sent thither for, was to open blind eyes, turn men from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sin, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified: now though there is not an equality between the mission of Christ by his Father, and of the apostles by him, yet there is a likeness; there is an agreement in their original, both are divine and of authority; in the place they were sent, the world; and in their work to declare the mind and will of God: all which carries in it a strong argument with his Father to regard these persons; for inasmuch as they were in a world that hated them, they needed divine power and protection; and being in a wicked world they needed sanctification and preservation; and having such work to do, they therefore needed divine assistance, and fresh supplies of grace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. As thou hast sent—sentest.
me into the world, even so have I also sent them—sent I also them.
into the world—As their mission was to carry into effect the purposes of their Master's mission, so our Lord speaks of the authority in both cases as co-ordinate.
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