22.Judas (not Iscariot)saith to him. It is not without reason that he asks why Christ does not cause his light to be imparted (71) to more than a few persons; since he is the Sun of Righteousness, (Mal_4:2) by whom the whole world ought to be enlightened; and, therefore, it is unreasonable that he should enlighten but a few, and not shed his light everywhere without distinction. Christ’ reply does not solve the whole question; for it makes no mention of the first cause, why Christ ‘manifested himself to a few,’ conceals himself from the greater part of men; for certainly he finds all men at first alike, that is, entirely alienated from him; and, therefore, he cannot choose any person who loves him, but he chooses from among his enemies those whose hearts he bends to the love of him. But he did not intend, at present, to take any notice of that distinction, which was far from the object he had in view. His design was, to exhort his disciples to the earnest study of godliness, that they might make greater progress in faith; and, therefore, he is satisfied with distinguishing them from the world by this mark, that they keep the doctrine of the Gospel.
Now, this mark comes after the commencement of faith, for it is the effect of their calling. In other passages, Christ had reminded the disciples of their being called by free grace, and he will afterwards bring it to their recollection. At present, he only enjoins them to observe his doctrine, and to maintain godliness. By these words, Christ shows in what manner the Gospel is properly obeyed. It is, when our services and outward actions proceed from the love of Christ; for in vain do the arms, and the feet, and the whole body toil, if the love of God does not reign in the heart, to govern the outward members. Now, since it is certain that we keep the commandments of Christ only in so far as we love him, it follows that a perfect love of him can nowhere be found in the world, because there is no man who keeps his commandments perfectly; yet God is pleased with the obedience of those who sincerely aim at this end.
(71) “Pourquoy Christ fera que sa lumiere sera manifestee.”