33.Little children, yet a little while am I with you. As it was impossible that the disciples should not be deeply grieved at their Master’ departure, so he gives them early warning that he will no longer be with them, and, at the same time, exhorts them to patience. Lastly, to remove unseasonable eagerness of desire, he declares that they cannot immediately follow him. In calling them little children, he shows, by that gentle appellation, that his reason for departing from them is not that he cares little about their welfare, for he loves them very tenderly. True, the object which he had in view in clothing himself with our flesh was, that he might be our brother, but by that other name he expresses more strongly the ardor of his love.
As I said to the Jews. When he says, that he repeats to them what he had formerly said to the Jews, this is true as to the words, but there is a wide difference in the meaning; for he declares that they cannot follow him, in order that they may endure patiently his temporary absence, and — so to speak — bridles them in, that; they may remain in their office, till they have finished their warfare on earth; so that he does not perpetually exclude them, as Jews, from the kingdom of God, but only bids them wait patiently, till he bring them, along with himself, into the heavenly kingdom.