33.Yet a little while am I with you. Some think that this sermon was addressed to the assembly of the people who were present, and others, that it was addressed to the officers who had been sent to seize Christ. But for my own part, I have no doubt that Christ particularly addresses his enemies, who had taken counsel to destroy him; for he ridicules their efforts, because they will be utterly ineffectual, until the time decreed by the Father be come And at the same time, he reproaches them for their obstinacy, because they not only reject, but furiously oppose, the grace which is offered to them; and threatens that ere long it will be taken from them. When he says, I am with you, he rebukes their ingratitude, because, though he had been given to them by the Father, though he had come down to them from the heavenly glory, though, by calling them to be his familiar associates, he desired nothing more than to assist them, still there were few who received him. When he says, Yet a little while, he warns them that God will not long endure that his grace should be exposed to such shameful contempt. Yet he also means, that neither his life nor his death is placed at their disposal, but that his Father has fixed a time, which must be fulfilled.
I go to him who hath sent me. By these words he testifies that he will not be extinguished by his death, but, on the contrary, when he shall have laid aside his mortal body, will be declared to be the Son of God by the magnificent triumph of his resurrection; as if he had said, “ as much as you please, yet you will never hinder my Father from receiving me into his heavenly glory, when I have discharged the embassy which he has committed to me. Thus not only will my rank remain undiminished after my death, but a more excellent condition is then provided for me.” Besides, we ought to draw from it a general admonition; for as often as Christ calls us to the hope of salvation by the preaching of the Gospel, he is present with us. For not without reason is the preaching of the Gospel called Christ’ descent to us, where it is said,
he came and preached peace to those who were far off, and to those who were near,
If we accept the hand which he holds out, he will lead us to the Father; and so long as we must sojourn in the world, not only will he show himself to be near us, but will constantly dwell in us. And if we disregard his presence, he will lose nothing, but, departing from us, will leave us altogether strangers to God and to life.