25.Righteous Father. He compares his disciples to the world, so as to describe more fully the approbation and favour which they had received from the Father; for it is proper that they who alone know God, whom the whole world rejects, should be distinguished above others, and most properly does Christ plead with peculiar warmth for those whom the unbelief of the world did not prevent from acknowledging God. By calling him Righteous Father, Christ defies the world and its malice; as if he had said, “However proudly the world may despise or reject God, still it takes nothing from him, and cannot hinder the honor of his righteousness from remaining unimpaired.” By these words he declares that the faith of the godly ought to be founded on God, in such a manner that, though the whole world should oppose, it would never fail; just as, in the present day, we must charge the Pope with injustice, in order that we may vindicate for God the praise which is due to him.
But I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. Christ does not merely say that God was known by the disciples, but mentions two steps; first, that he has known the Father; and, secondly, that the disciples have known that he was sent by the Father But as he adds immediately afterwards, that he has declared to them the name of the Father, he praises them, as I have said, for the knowledge of God, which separates them from the rest of the world. Yet we must attend to the order of faith, as it is here described. The Son came out of the bosom of the Father, and, properly speaking, he alone knows the Father; and, therefore, all who desire to approach God must betake themselves to Christ meeting them, and nmst devote themselves to him; and, after having been known by the disciples, he will, at length, raise them to God the Father.