“Just as you sent me into the world, I also send them into the world, and for them, I sanctify myself in order that they also might be sanctified in Truth.”
This statement that Christ makes is very simple to understand, but very difficult to apply and live out because of the ramifications that it means for those of us who are believers. “Just as,” Jesus says, the Father sends the Son, so the Son sends the believers. The simplest way to understand this is to see this as a call for us to evangelize the world. Yet, there is much more to what Jesus is teaching, for we must ask in what way did Christ enter into the world? In turn, how are we to live out being sent in the same way?
Jesus came into the world in humility for the purpose not only of showing the people the Truth, but also to die—to be a sacrifice, holy and true, for sinful people. Thus, Jesus sanctified himself so that he would be prepared to be a sacrifice for his people. Thus, if we are to also be sent into the world as Christ was sent into the world, we need to be prepared to be sacrifices for the gospel, not living for ourselves or for selfish gain, but living humbly for the glory of God and to call others to Christ. Thus, Paul calls us to become “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1-2), being wholly committed to the sacrifice taking place (the Old Testament animal sacrifices kept nothing back, but were wholly committed to the altar—so too was Jesus, so too are we to be!). Wealth, reputation, status, and privilege should not only be seen as God’s blessing to us, but also be seen as a tool toward advancing the end of the Gospel, not simply to make ourselves comfortable.
So, as you look at your life, how is it that you will sacrifice all for the Gospel? What are the things that are holding you back from being sent into the world as Christ was sent into the world? And how are you sanctifying yourself so that you can be a faithful and true living sacrifice to the glory of God? These are dangerous questions for most of us to ask, because if we ask these questions honestly, God will call us to change in one way, shape, or form. In addition, if we seek to live this out, God will call us to step outside of our comfort zones and stretch—but stretch to what end? Think of things this way, Jesus called 12 Apostles (11 originals plus Paul) and those twelve men—wholly committed to the Gospel and to being led by the Holy Spirit—turned the world on its head. Think of what God might do if confessing Christians today would be willing to be wholly committed to the claims of Christ that are upon them. We would stop just “doing church,” but we would demolish the strongholds of this culture and turn this world on its head once again to the glory of Jesus Christ. The church has largely embraced the devil’s temptation of comfort and has largely become impotent; let us see what would happen if we embrace Jesus’ prayer for us instead—the world, and our own lives, will never be the same.