24.Father, I will. To will is put for to desire; (129) for it expresses not a command but a prayer. But it may be understood in two ways; either that he wills that the disciples may enjoy his eternal presence, or, that God may, at length, receive them into the heavenly kingdom, to which he goes before them.
That they may behold my glory. Some explain beholding his glory to mean, partaking of the glory which Christ has. Others explain it to be, to know by the experience of faith what Christ is, and how great is his majesty. For my own part, after carefully weighing the whole matter, I think that Christ speaks of the perfect happiness of believers, as if he had said, that his desire will not be satisfied till they have been received into heaven. In the same manner I explain the Beholding of the glory. At that time they saw the glory of Christ, just as a man shut up in the dark obtains, through small chinks, a feeble and glimmering light. Christ now wishes that they shall make such progress as to enjoy the full brightness of heaven. In short, he asks that the Father will conduct them, by uninterrupted progress, to the full vision of his glory.
For thou lovedst me. This also agrees better with the person of the Mediator than with Christ’ Divinity alone. It would be harsh to say that the Father loved his Wisdom; and though we were to admit it, the connection of the passage leads us to a different view. Christ, unquestionably, spoke as the Head of the Church, when he formerly prayed that the apostles might be united with him, and might behold the glory of his reign. He now says that the love of the Father is the cause of it; and, therefore, it follows that he was beloved, in so far as he was appointed to be the Redeemer of the world. With such a love did the Father love himbefore the creation of the world, that he might be the person in whom the Father would love his elect.
(129) “Quand il dit, Je veux, c’ comme s’ disoit, Je desire ; ” — “ he says, I will, it is as if’ he had said, I desire.”