Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 17:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I sanctify myself - I consecrate and devote myself to death - that I may thereby purchase eternal salvation for them. There seems to be here an allusion to the entering of the high priest into the holy of holies, when, having offered the sacrifice, he sprinkled the blood before the ark of the covenant. So Jesus entered into the holiest of all by his own blood, in order to obtain everlasting redemption for men: see Hebrews 9:11-13. The word, ἁγιαζω, to consecrate or sanctify, is used in the sense of devoting to death, in Jeremiah 12:3, both in the Hebrew and in the Septuagint: the Hebrew קדש signifies also to sacrifice.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I sanctify myself - I consecrate myself exclusively to the service of God. The word “sanctify” does not refer here to personal sanctification, for he had no sin, but to setting himself apart entirely to the work of redemption.

That they also … -

1. That they might have an example of the proper manner of laboring in the ministry, and might learn of me how to discharge its duties. Ministers will understand their work best when they most faithfully study the example of their great model, the Son of God.

2. That they might be made pure by the effect of my sanctifying myself - that is, that they might be made pure by the shedding of that blood which cleanses from all sin. By this only can men be made holy; and it was because the Saviour so sanctified himself, or set himself to this work so unreservedly as to shed his own blood, that any soul can be made pure and fit for the kingdom of God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 152

Christ came to our world to reveal the Father amid the gross darkness of error and superstition which then prevailed. The disciples of Christ are to represent Him in their everyday life, and thus the true light from heaven will shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world; thus a character is revealed entirely different from that which is seen in those who do not make the word of God their guide and standard. A knowledge of God must be preserved amid the darkness that covers the world and the gross darkness that envelops the people. Age after age the pure character of Christ has been misrepresented by those who claimed to be believers in Him and in the word of God. Hardness of heart has been cultivated. Love and kindness and true courtesy have been fast disappearing from ministers and churches. What can the universe of God think of this? Those who claim to be representatives of Christ show rather the hardness of heart which is characteristic of Satan, which made him unfit for heaven, unsafe to be there. And just so it will be with those who know the truth and yet close the door of the heart against its sanctifying power. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The servants of Christ are not only to be instruments through the preaching of Jesus to lead men to repentance, but they are to continue their watchcare and interest by keeping before the people, by precept and example, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They are to sanctify themselves that their hearers also may be sanctified. Thus all will grow in godliness, going on from grace to grace, until the ambassador for God can present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Then the ministerial office will be seen in its true, sacred character. TM 152.1

But the standard of the ministry has been greatly lowered, and the Minister of the true sanctuary is misrepresented before the world. God is ready to accept men as His colaborers, and to make them the light of the world, agents through whom He can graciously infuse light into the understanding. If the men who bear the message have not Christ abiding in them, if they are not true,—and some are not,—may the Lord awaken them from their deception before it shall be too late. God wants men to be tenderhearted, compassionate, and to love as brethren. Jesus is waiting for them to open the door, that He may come in and infuse into their hearts the warmth of His love, His goodness, His tender compassion; that the worker may in all his connection with humanity reveal the Saviour to the world. TM 153.1

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 104

Young men are to enter the ministry as co-workers with Jesus, sharing His life of self-denial and sacrifice, voicing the words of the Master, “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.” [John 17:19.] If they will yield themselves to God, He will use them in helping to carry out His plan for the salvation of souls. Let the young man who has entered the ministry look his calling fairly in the face, and determine to devote his time, his strength, his influence, to the work, well aware of the conditions under which he serves the Redeemer. GW 104.1

The standard-bearers are falling, and young men must be prepared to take the places left vacant, that the message may still be proclaimed. The aggressive warfare is to be extended. Those who have youth and strength are to go into the dark places of the earth, to call perishing souls to repentance. But they must first cleanse the soul-temple of all impurity, and enthrone Christ in the heart. GW 104.2

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 142

God regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? COL 142.1

Christ's lessons in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is a divine science in prayer, and His illustration brings to view principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness to hear and answer prayer. COL 142.2

Our prayers are not to be a selfish asking, merely for our own benefit. We are to ask that we may give. The principle of Christ's life must be the principle of our lives. “For their sakes,” He said, speaking of His disciples, “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.” John 17:19. The same devotion, the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of the word of God, that were manifest in Christ, must be seen in His servants. Our mission to the world is not to serve or please ourselves; we are to glorify God by co-operating with Him to save sinners. We are to ask blessings from God that we may communicate to others. The capacity for receiving is preserved only by imparting. We cannot continue to receive heavenly treasure without communicating to those around us. COL 142.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 197

In no case are teachers to lose self-control, to manifest impatience and harshness, and a want of sympathy and love. Those who are naturally fretful, easily provoked, and who have cherished the habit of criticism and evil thinking, should find some other kind of work, where their unlovely traits of character will not be reproduced in the children and youth. In the place of being fitted to instruct the children, such teachers need one to teach them the lessons of Jesus Christ. CT 197.1

If the teacher has the love of Christ abiding in the heart as a sweet fragrance, a savor of life unto life, he may bind the children under his care to himself. Through the grace of Christ he may be an instrument in God's hands to enlighten, lift up, encourage, and help to purify the soul temple from its defilement, until the character shall be transformed by the grace of Christ, and the image of God be revealed in the soul. CT 197.2

Said Christ, “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified.” John 17:19. This is the work that devolves on every Christian teacher. There must be no haphazard work in this matter; for the education of the children requires very much of the grace of Christ and the subduing of self. Heaven sees in the child the undeveloped man or woman, with capabilities and powers that, if correctly guided and developed, will make him or her one with whom the divine agencies can co-operate—a laborer together with God. CT 197.3

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