For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17:19)
When Jesus said, “I sanctify myself,” we are not to understand it in the way that statement would apply to sinful humanity. Jesus was not talking about personal sanctification, for He had no sin. Rather, Jesus was making it clear that He was setting Himself apart for the work His Father in heaven had sent Him to do.
Read on, and be greatly encouraged today!
Jesus consecrated Himself completely to the service of God. He willingly separated Himself from His throne in heaven to take on flesh and dwell among us. He willingly separated Himself from His inherent power as the second person of the Trinity and served completely in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet it is important to understand that Jesus never separated Himself from the society of sinners. To be sure, Jesus was completely separated from fallen and sinful human nature, but He never separated from human beings.
When we read through the gospel accounts regarding the ministry of our Lord, it was the ones whom society disregarded and discarded that Jesus invested in. He did that so frequently and consistently that the religious leaders continually condemned Him for it.
When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2:16)
In the religious Jewish society, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law avoided sinful society like they would people with the plague. As strict adherents to the Law, they believed that being near sinners would defile them. What they resolutely refused to acknowledge was their own sin and their own need of a Savior. Jesus replied to the Pharisees’ indignant question by saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Now, Jesus certainly was not saying that those religious leaders were in any way righteous. Rather, they were blind to their own sin because of their religious traditions and the wrongheaded belief that they could attain righteousness through their own efforts.
Is it not a great encouragement to know that Jesus came to save sinners just like me and you? And is it not an even greater encouragement to know that Jesus does not require us to change or “clean up our act” before coming to Him for salvation? Jesus meets all of us sinners right where we are, refusing to separate Himself from us, and then He graciously leads us to where He is calling us to be.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!