John 17:18
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(18) As thou hast sent me into the world.—Better, As Thou didst send Me. The tense points out the definite moment of His mission. (Comp. John 10:36.)

So have I also sent them into the world.—Better, I also sent. Comp. Notes on Matthew 10:5; Luke 6:13. In the very word “Apostles” their mission was contained; but the thought here comprehends the immediate future of their wider mission. (Comp. Note on John 20:21.)

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.Sanctify them - This word means to render pure, or to cleanse from sins, 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 6:11. Sanctification in the heart of a Christian is progressive. It consists in his becoming more like God and less attached to the world; in his getting the ascendency over evil thoughts, and passions, and impure desires; and in his becoming more and more weaned from earthly objects, and attached to those things which are unseen and eternal. The word also means "to consecrate, to set apart to a holy office or purpose." See John 17:19; also the notes at John 10:36. When Jesus prayed here that God would sanctify them, he probably included both these ideas, that they might be made personally more holy, and might be truly consecrated to God as the ministers of his religion. Ministers of the gospel will be really devoted to the service of God just in proportion as they are personally pure.

Through thy truth - Truth is a representation of things as they are. The Saviour prayed that through those just views of God and of themselves they might be made holy. To see things as they are is to see God to be infinitely lovely and pure; his commands to be reasonable and just; heaven to be holy and desirable; his service to be easy, and religion pleasant, and sin odious; to see that life is short, that death is near; that the pride, pomp, pleasures, wealth, and honors of this world are of little value, and that it is of infinite importance to be prepared to enter on the eternal state of being. He that sees all this, or that looks on things as they are, will desire to be holy. He will make it his great object to live near to God and to glorify his name. In the sanctification of the soul God makes use of all truth, or of everything fitted to make a representation of things as they are to the mind. His Word states that and no more; His Spirit and His Providence do it. The earth and the heavens, the seasons, the sunshine and the rain, are all fitted to teach us his goodness and power, and lead us to him. His daily mercies tend to the same end, and afflictions have the same design. Our own sickness teaches us that we are soon to die. The death of a friend teaches us the instability of all earthly comforts, and the necessity of seeking better joys. All these things are fitted to make just representations to the mind, and thus to sanctify the soul. As the Christian is constantly amid these objects, so he should be constantly growing in grace, and daily and hourly gaining new and deeper impressions of the great truths of religion.

Thy word is truth - All that thou hast spoken - that is, all that is contained in the Bible. All the commands and promises of God; His representations of His own character and that of man; His account of the mission and death of His Son; of the grave, the resurrection, judgment, and eternity, all tend to represent things as they are, and are thus fitted to sanctify the soul. We have here also the testimony of the Saviour that the revelation which God has given is true. All that God has spoken is true, and the Christian should rejoice and the sinner should tremble. See Psalm 19:7-14.

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.

That is: My Father, they have not thrust themselves into their employment, they have not run without sending; for as I am thine apostle, as I was sent by thee, so I have sent them. The apostles indeed were not sent for the same end in all things that Christ was sent; who was sent to purchase salvation for men, as well as to preach the gospel: but they were sent in part for the same work for which Christ was sent, and they were sent by him who had authority to send them; and as it is but reasonable for princes to protect those whom themselves send upon their embassies, so it was but reasonable that God should defend and protect those whom his Son had sent out as his ambassadors.

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.

{5} As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

(5) Moreover, he adds that the apostles have a calling common with him, and therefore that they must be held up by the very same virtue to give themselves up wholly to God, by which Christ, who was first, did consecrate himself to the Father.

John 17:18-19. In support of the prayer for the ἁγιάζειν of the disciples, there now follow further two motives for its being granted, deduced, (1) from the mission of the disciples into the world, on which account they need consecration; and (2) from Christ’s own personal consecration for the purpose of their ἁγιασμός, which purpose God will not be willing to leave unattained.

καθὼς ἐμὲ, κ.τ.λ.] Placed first with pragmatic weight; for as He could not execute His mission without the divine consecration (John 10:36), so neither could they who were sent by Him.

κἀγώ] Not instead of οὕτως ἐγώ (De Wette), but simply: I also have sent. Comp. John 15:9, John 20:21, et al.

ἀπέστειλα] The mission was indeed not yet objectively a fact (John 20:21; Matthew 28:19), but already conceived of in its idea in the appointment and instruction for the apostolic office (Matthew 10:5 ff.). Comp. on John 4:38.

John 17:19. Note the emphatic correlation of αὐτῶνἐγὼ ἐμαυτόνκαὶ αὐτοί.

The ἁγιάζω ἐμαυτόν, not including in it the whole life of the Lord (Calvin, Hengstenberg, Godet), but now, when the hour is come, to be carried out, is the actual consecration, which Christ, in offering Himself through His death as a sacrifice to God, accomplishes on Himself,[194] so that ἁγιάζω is substantially equivalent to προσφέρω σοὶ θυσίαν (Chrysostom), comp. 4Ma 17:19; ἁγιάζειν, הִקְדִּישׁ, is a sacred word for sacrifices in the O. T., see Exodus 13:2; Deuteronomy 15:19 ff.; 2 Samuel 8:11; Esr. 5:52; Romans 15:16; comp. also Soph. Oed. Col. 1491; Dion. H. vii. 2. Christ is at once the Priest and the Sacrifice (Epistle to the Hebrews); and for (ὙΠΈΡ, in commodum, xv. 13) the disciples He performs this sacrifice,—although it is offered for all,[195]—so far as it has, in respect of the disciples, the special purpose: that they also may be consecrated in truth, namely, in virtue of the reception of the Paraclete (πνευματικῷ πυρὶ γυῖα λελουμένοι, Nonnus), which reception was conditioned by the death of Jesus, John 16:7. The καί has its logical justification in the idea of consecration common to both clauses, although its special sense is different in each; for the disciples are, through the sacrifice of Jesus, to be consecrated to God in the sense of holy purity, endowment, and equipment for their calling. On the other hand, the self-consecration of Christ is sacrificial,—the former, however, like the latter, the consecration in the service of God and of His kingdom. Comp. on the self-consecration of Christ, who yields Himself voluntarily to be a sacrifice (John 10:18, John 15:13), Ephesians 5:2 : παρέδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν προσφορὰν, κ.τ.λ.; that is the idea of the present passage, not that He renounced the mortal σάρξ, and entered fully into the divine mode of existence and fellowship (Luthardt). See also Hebrews 9:14.

ἐν ἀληθείᾳ] Modal definition of ἡγιασμένοι: truly consecrated, Matthew 22:16; 2 Corinthians 7:14; Colossians 1:6; 1 John 3:18; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1. See on 2 Cor. loc. cit.; LXX. 2 Reg. John 19:17 (where, however, ἐν is doubtful); Sir 7:20; Pind. Ol. vii. 126. In the classics the mere dative and ἐπʼ ἀληθείας are frequent. The true consecration is not exactly an antithesis to the Jewish sanctimonia ceremonialis (Godet and older expositors), to which nothing in the context leads, but simply sets forth the eminent character of the relation generally. As contrasted with every other ἁγιότης in human relations, that wrought through the Paraclete is the true consecration. Comp. Luther: “against all worldly and human holiness.” So substantially,[196] Chrysostom, Euth. Zigabenus, Beza, Calvin, Bengel, and several others, including Hengstenberg, Godet. The interpretation which has recently, after Erasmus, Bucer, and several others, become current, viz. of Lücke, Tholuck (?), Olshausen, De Wette, B. Crusius, Luthardt, Lange, Brückner, Ewald, that ἐν ἀληθ. is not different from ἘΝ Τῇ ἈΛΗΘΕΊᾼ, John 17:17, is erroneous, because the article is wanting which here, in the retrospective reference to the truth already articulated and defined, was thoroughly necessary; for of an antithesis “to the state of being in which the disciples would be found over and above” (Luthardt), the text suggests nothing, even leaving out of sight the fact that a state of sanctification in such an opposite condition would be inconceivable. Without any ground, appeal is made, in respect of the absence of the article, to John 1:14, John 4:24, where truth is expressed as a general conception (comp. John 8:44) (Sir 37:15; Tob 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Timothy 3:7), and to 3 John 1:3 (John 17:4 is with Lachm. and Tisch. to be read ἐν τῇ ἀληθ.), where ἘΝ ἈΛΗΘ. must be taken as equivalent to ἈΛΗΘῶς,[197] and consequently as in the present passage and as in 3 John 1:1.

[194] Comp. generally, Ritschl in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol. 1863, p. 240 f.

[195] Already this solemn ὑπέρ (John 6:51, John 10:11, John 11:50, John 15:13, John 18:14; John 17:18. καθὼς ἐμὲ ἀπέστειλας … “As Thou didst send me into the world, I also sent them into the world.” καθὼς seems to imply “in prosecution of the same purpose and therefore with similar equipment”. εἰς τὸν κόσμον is not otiose, but suggests that as Christ’s presence in the world was necessary for the fulfilment of God’s purpose, so the sphere of the disciples’ work is also “the world,” cf. John 5:15. ἀπέστειλα, aorist, because already they had served as apostles, see John 5:38 and Mark 3:14.

18. As thou hast sent] Better, Even as Thou didst send. Comp. John 10:36.

even so have I also sent] Better, I also did send. Comp. John 20:21, John 15:9. The Apostles had already received their commission (Matthew 10:5-15; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:2-5), which is about to be renewed.

John 17:18. Ἀπέστειλας, Thou hast sent) The foundation of the sending is the ‘sanctification:’ ch. John 10:36, “Him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world.”—ἀπέστειλα, I have sent) I have commenced to send, I have bestowed the apostleship [ch. John 20:21, “As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you;” Matthew 28:19, “Go ye, and teach all nations,” etc.; Mark 16:15].

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. John 17:18Sent (ἀπέστειλας - ἀπέστειλα)

On a mission. See on Matthew 10:16.


See on John 17:17.

John 17:18 Interlinear
John 17:18 Parallel Texts

John 17:18 NIV
John 17:18 NLT
John 17:18 ESV
John 17:18 NASB
John 17:18 KJV

John 17:18 Bible Apps
John 17:18 Parallel
John 17:18 Biblia Paralela
John 17:18 Chinese Bible
John 17:18 French Bible
John 17:18 German Bible

Bible Hub

John 17:17
Top of Page
Top of Page