|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 19. - And for their sakes - on their behalf - I sanctify, consecrate, myself. The Father had consecrated him and sent him into the world, but over and above all this there were special and sacrificial acts of love and devotion which he made on behalf of his own. He went up voluntarily into the wilderness to be tempted for them; he wrought for them while it was yet day. He now was ready to commend himself to the supreme will of the Father, and to offer himself through the Spirit in his perfected humanity without spot of sin to God. Ἁγιάζω is equivalent προσφέρω σοὶ θυσίαν, as Chrysostom says, and it is used for הִקְדִּישׁ (Exodus 13:2; Deuteronomy 15:19). Christ is the Priest and the Victim, and the dedication of himself to this climax of his consecrated life is for the sake of the disciples (so Lange, Meyer, Godet, and Westcott). That they also may be sanctified indeed - truly or veritably.
(1) We have to notice that the passive form of the second clause shows that that which the Lord, in its highest form, effects for himself, they receive as a work wrought in them by another.
(2) Using the word ἁγιάζειν in the same sense in both clauses, the consecration effected in the disciples must correspond with Christ's consecration in self-sacrificial love, in abandonment to the power of the Word which has revolutionized their whole being, in entire equipment for their calling, even to the point of hatred and antagonism from the world, and death for his sake. They are indeed to drink of his cup, and be baptized with his baptism. They must be crucified with him and buried with him, and rise again with him, in the activity of their faith.
(3) Ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, without the article, has the sense of "verily and indeed" (Matthew 22:16; 2 Corinthians 7:14; 1 John 3:18, etc.). It is not certain that 2 John I or 3 John I can be thus translated, but the classical usage of this phrase, and also of ἐπ ἀληθείας, leaves little doubt about its use here.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for their sakes I sanctify myself,.... Which is to be understood, not of his making himself holy; for he never was a sinner, and so stood in no need of sanctification: he was made like unto us, yet without sin; he looked like a sinner, but was not one; he was traduced, charged, and treated as such, but was perfectly holy, and free from all sin; he was essentially and infinitely holy as God; and as man, he was holy in his conception and birth; he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and was holy in his life and in his death: rather this may be meant of his being separated, and set apart for his office as Mediator, which, though done by the Father, and is ascribed unto him, John 10:36; yet may also be attributed to himself; since he voluntarily devoted himself to this work, and cheerfully accepted of it: though it seems best to understand it of his offering himself a sacrifice for, and in the room and stead of his people, in allusion to the offerings under the law, the sacrificing of which is expressed by sanctifying, Exodus 13:2; and because his sacrifice was an Holy One: what he sanctified or offered was "himself": not his divine, but human nature, his body and his soul; and these as in union with his divine person; which gives his sacrifice the preference to all others, and is the true reason of its virtue and efficacy; and this is expressive of his great love. He himself is also the sanctifier or offerer, which shows him to be a priest, and that he had a power over his own life, and that he sacrificed it voluntarily; and this he is said to do at that present time, because the time was very near that he was to be offered up, and his present prayer and intercession were a part of his priestly office. This he did not for his own sake, nor for the sake of angels, nor for all men, but for his disciples, as distinct from the world; and not for the apostles only, but for all that the Father had given to him; and that as their substitute and surety, in their room and stead:
that they also might be sanctified through the truth; that is, have all their sins expiated, and they be cleansed from all the guilt and filth of them, through Christ himself and his sacrifice, who is the truth; or "in truth"; as it may be rendered, really and truly, in opposition to the legal sacrifices which atoned for sin, not really, only typically; or through the. Gospel of truth, bringing the good news of atonement by the blood and sacrifice of Christ, and which the Spirit of God seals to the conscience with comfort and joy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. And for their sakes I sanctify—consecrate.
myself that they also might—may.
be sanctified—consecrated. The only difference between the application of the same term to Christ and the disciples is, as applied to Christ, that it means only to "consecrate"; whereas, in application to the disciples, it means to consecrate with the additional idea of previous sanctification, since nothing but what is holy can be presented as an offering. The whole self-sacrificing work of the disciples appears here as a mere result of the offering of Christ [Olshausen].
the truth—Though the article is wanting in the original here, we are not to translate, as in the Margin, "truly sanctified"; for the reference seems plainly to be "the truth" mentioned in Joh 17:17. (See on Joh 17:17).
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