57.As the living Father hath sent me. Hitherto Christ has explained the manner in which we must become partakers of life. He now comes to speak of the principal cause, for the first source of life is in the Father. But he meets an objection, for it might be thought that he took away from God what belonged to him, when he made himself the cause of life. He makes himself, therefore, to be the Author of life, in such a manner, as to acknowledge that there was another who gave him what he administers to others.
Let us observe, that this discourse also is accommodated to the capacity of those to whom Christ was speaking; for it is only with respect to his flesh that he compares himself to the Father. For though the Father is the beginning of life, yet the eternal Word himself is strictly life But the eternal Divinity of Christ is not the present subject; for he exhibits himself such as he was manifested to the world, clothed with our flesh.
I also live on account of the Father. This does not apply to his Divinity simply, nor does it apply to his human nature simply and by itself, but it is a description of the Son of God manifested in the flesh. Besides, we know that it is not unusual with Christ to ascribe to the Father every thing Divine which he had in himself. It must be observed, however, that he points out here three degrees of life. In the first rank is the living Father, who is the source, but remote and hidden. Next follows the Son, who is exhibited to us as an open fountain, and by whom life flows to us. The third is, the life which we draw from him. We now perceive what is stated to amount to this, that God the Father, in whom life dwells, is at a great distance from us, and that Christ, placed between us, is the second cause of life, in order that what would otherwise be concealed in God may proceed from him to us.