As the living Father hath sent me
Into the world, to be the Saviour of it; not by local motion, but by assumption of human nature; and not against his will, or as having superiority over him; but by joint consent and agreement: the first person in the Godhead is here styled, "the living Father"; not because he is the Father of spirits, of angels, and the souls of men; and the Father of all men by creation, and of saints by adoption; and the Father, or author of all mercies, spiritual and temporal; but because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this character is peculiar to him: he is indeed the living God, and has life in himself, and is the fountain of life to others; but not in distinction from, and to the exclusion of the Son, or Spirit; but then none but he is the living Father, who ever did, and ever will, live as the Father of Christ:
and I live by the Father;
which is to be understood of Christ, not as God, but as Mediator, and as man. As Mediator he was set up by his Father, as the head of life to the elect; and was intrusted by him with a fulness of life for them; and was sent to open the way of life unto them, and bestow it on them. As man, he had his human life from God, and was preserved and upheld in it by him; and he laid it down at his command, and at his death committed his soul or spirit to him; and which was restored unto him, and is continued with him. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "for the Father", or "because of him"; and may design either that near union and conjunction of Christ with him, by virtue of which they live the same life; or else his living to the glory and honour of his Father, as he did, and does:
so he that eateth me;
in a spiritual sense, by faith. The phrase of eating the Messiah was a familiar one, and well known to the Jews; though these Capernaites cavilled at it, and called it an hard saying.
``Says Rab, the Israelites shall "eat" the years of the Messiah: (the gloss on it is, the fulness which the Israelites shall have in those days:) says R. Joseph, it is certainly so; but who shall "eat him?" shall Chellek and Billek (two judges in Sodom) (hl ylka) , "eat him?" contrary to the words of R. Hillell, who says, Israel shall have no Messiah, for (whwlka) , "they ate him" in the days of Hezekiah F25;''that is, they enjoyed him then; for he thought that Hezekiah was the Messiah; but that was the doctor's mistake. The Messiah now was, and to be enjoyed and eaten by faith in a spiritual sense, and everyone that does so,
even he shall live by me:
such have their life from Christ; he is their food, on which they lived; and by him they are continued, upheld, and preserved in their spiritual life, and are by him brought to the life of glory: or they live "for", or "because of" him, as the above versions render it; they derive their life from him, and because he lives, they live also; and they live to his glory, and will do so to all eternity.
F25 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. & 99. 1.