John 11:16-20
John 17:16 (KJB)
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
When one becomes born again, they are no longer totally of the earth, even though we live here temporarily until our task is completed. When one is saved, they are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and are transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God which means that we are no longer of this world in spirit. Christians are spiritually alive unto God and dead to this world. (Gal 6:14 KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Paul states that the world and its evil is dead to him and has no allurements in his body and mind. Paul also states that he is also dead to the world as he does not seek out the world and its enticements and sin traps. Crucifixion means total death. There is no such thing as partial crucifixion, either you are dead to the world or you are still alive unto the world. Paul was dead to the world both ways, from him and to him.
John 17:17 (KJB)
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Sanctify - To separate, make holy
The truth here is what Jesus came to teach the disciples which came from the Father. He continues His prayer that the disciples will remain strong and separated from the evil systems of the world and the evil attractions which cause compromise very quickly. The word of God given to all generations will help a Christian understand the war between faithfulness and compromise in the Christian walk. (Psa 119:9 KJV) BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalm 119 teaches that the word of God will help the believer remain strong and non-compromising. The Lord Jesus Christ is also known as the Word of God and He is truth personified. If one follows His commandments, they will remain separate from the world system. When one is born again in Christ, they are immediately set apart or separated unto God, it is called positional sanctification. So through the living word of God, Christ, we have a position of being sanctified or set apart and through the written Word we have possessional sanctification as the Scriptures teach us to live farther from the world and closer to Christ. (James 4:8 KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
John 17:18 (KJB)
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
In the same manner that the Lord Jesus Christ was sent into this world to bring the Gospel, the disciples will also go into the world and bring the Gospel. As Jesus was the light of the world, so the disciples will also be the light of the world. As Jesus left His home in Heaven to come to earth and bring the Gospel, the disciples will also leave their homes and bring the Gospel to the world. The message which Jesus preached to the world will be the same message the disciples will preach. This is the manner of bringing forth the Gospel to the world which will be used until the last day. We have a commission just like the disciples had the commission and that is to go into every country with the Gospel. (Mark 16:15 KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
John 17:19 (KJB)
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
In the earthly ministry of Jesus, He always kept the salvation plan of His Father in the forefront. (Luke 9:51-53 KJV) And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, {52} And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. {53} And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. Jesus did not become sidetracked or did He in any way compromise His ministry, even though He was accused of having been a drunk and under the influence of Satan. The fact is that accusations made against us should in no way cause a hindrance of our ministry. Jesus set Himself apart for the task of dying for His people and He never diverted from that and completed the salvation plan on Calvary. Christians must sanctify themselves for the task of sending the Gospel to the entire world. As Jesus was set apart to die, we are called to die to self and live unto God.
John 17:20 (KJB)
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Now Jesus widens that prayer request to go beyond the scope of the disciples. He now prays for all those who will become saved through the hearing of the Word of God by all the Elect down until the last day. Jesus is praying that Christians in our day will continue to sanctify themselves for the task of sending forth the Gospel. Those who become saved through our ministries, will go forth with the Gospel and others will become saved, and then they will go out and proclaim the Gospel, and this will continue in this fashion until the last day. In our day, the apostasy is definitely entrenched in Christianity and there only seems to be a remnant of Christians sanctified unto the Great Commission that have not compromised with the world.