17 Consecrate them in the Truth; Your word is Truth.
It happens that sometimes a person might be described as being ‘holier than thou’. It is usually a derogatory statement, meant to describe someone who despises, or looks down on someone else.
It is sometimes used by people in the world to undermine Christians who are living the life of Jesus. This can be a defensive mechanism used by those who hate Christians, and who want to cause them harm or embarrassment.
Probably it is a term that most of us would want to avoid, and would state that we are no better than anyone else. We know that our righteousness is as fifthly rags. We understand what Isaiah meant when he said:
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away – Isaiah 64.6 (NLT).
We know that it is only Jesus who has cleaned us up and has clothed us with His righteousness.
Again we read in Isaiah these wonderful words:
I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels – Isaiah 61.10 (NLT).
In John’s first letter we read:
If we should confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous so that He may forgive us our sins and might cleanse us from all unrighteousness – 1 John 1.9.
Therefore, there is a real sense in which Jesus has made us holy, and this was His prayer concerning His disciples. He asked His Father to consecrate them, that is to make them holy. He was asking the Father to separate these men from the ordinary. They were to become extra ordinary.
No longer were they to be of the world, tainted by the world, fashioned by the world. Instead they were to be consecrated, made holy, clothed in the righteousness of His truth.
This is His prayer for each one of us, that we also should be consecrated, made holy.