A reading for Tuesday, April 14, 2015: John 17:12-19.

The word sanctify is hardly used anymore. In the early nineteenth century, it was common to "sanctify" all sorts of things. Examples include: The priest sanctified their marriage... or
The constitution sanctified the rights of the people. The word was more commonly used than it is today. To sanctify something can mean "to make it holy," or it can mean "to legitimize something or approve it."

Jesus asks God to "sanctify" us in the truth, those that followed Jesus. The believers are to be set aside, to be made holy in the truth of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are to be sent out, just as Jesus was sent, and to be sanctified means to be legitimized as those that go in God's name. There is a sense that the believers would be separate from the world around them, so that they can recognize and interpret the presence of God for others. There is also a sense, from earlier in today's lesson, that the believers would be protected and watched over by God as they go.

As we continue to recover the idea of being missionaries to the world around us, especially to North America and our neighbors, perhaps "sanctify" is a world worth re-considering? Jesus said, "As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth."


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