You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there you cannot come.
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Cornelius a Lapide
Ye shall seek Me, &c. Ye will seek for another Messiah, but ye will not find Him, for there is no other Christ but Myself. So Toletus. But this is far from clear, and not to the point. It means more plainly and simply: When ye hear that I have risen, and by My disciples am working miracles, ye will seek to kill Me again, and thus utterly extirpate My name and My religion. But ye will not find Me, for I shall ascend with glory into heaven, and though ye slay My Apostles, I will put others in their place to propagate My doctrine and Church through all the world. So Rupertus.
But (4.) Jansen and others explain thus. After My death and ascension many of you who despised Me, will by the preaching of the Apostles desire to see and hear Me, but will not find Me because I go up to heaven. So Cyril, who teaches that a blessing should be embraced when present, lest afterward we should seek for it in vain. For opportunity has locks (of hair) in front (as is said), but is bald behind.
And where I am, YE cannot come.
With greatest gentleness does He again put the race of the Jews forth from the kingdom of Heaven, adding words correspondent to those that He had already uttered, yet concealing therein a deep Mystery. For applying our mind more simply to the words, and admitting a more surface consideration thereof, we say that it signifies something of this sort, that He will in no wise be apprehensible by them, nor yet will fall into their meshes, having gone back to the Father. For not accessible to them shall be the Heaven too, and He That sitteth by God the Father Himself, how shall He be to be taken of them that seek Him? This one word therefore is not deep, but more suited to the levity of the Jews, and superior to their understandings (for they are found ever to mind what is more low): but the exact and secret mind of the things said is after this sort; I (He says) having escaped the snare of your unholiness, shall be received back to God the Father; for I sh...
Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me.
This too He says skilfully and with much gentleness. For it means what taken generally is not difficult of comprehension, yet contains it some keen mystery hidden within it. For when He says that He shall ascend to Him That sent Him, that is, to God the Father, even though they yet attempt to plot against Him, and do not cease from persecuting Him, He is saying that He That hath ascended into the very Heavens can never be taken by them. But the truer meaning and that which is darkly signified, is this: I (He says) was sent to give you life, I came to take away from human nature death which from transgression fell upon it, and with long-suffering to bring back to . God those who through sin had stumbled: I came to engraft the Divine and Heavenly Light in those in darkness, and moreover to preach the Gospel to the poor, to give recovery of sight to the blind, to preach deliverance to the captives, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. A...
And shall not find me. Some understand it, you shall wish me conversing with you, as at present, healing diseases but as I shall suffer death shortly, you shall not find me. Others expound it, you shall seek for your Messias, but not owning me, who am truly he, you shall not find your Messias; and you cannot come to me in my kingdom of glory, because you will not believe in me. (Witham)
Or where I shall be. The present tense is not unfrequently used for the future, by the hagiographers. See Chap. xiii. 33.
3. And when did the Jews seek Him? Luke says that the women mourned over Him, and it is probable that many others, both at the time and when the city was taken, remembered Christ and His miracles, and sought His presence. Luke 23:49 Now all this He added, desiring to attract them. For the facts that the time left was short, that He should after His departure be regretfully desired by them, and that they should not then be able to find Him, were all together sufficient to persuade them to come to Him. For had it not been that His presence should with regret be desired by them, He would not have seemed to them to be saying any great thing; if, again, it was about to be desired, and they able to find Him, neither so would this have disturbed them. Again, had He been about to stay with them a long time, so also they would have been remiss. But now He in every way compels and terrifies them. And the, I go to Him that sent Me, is the expression of one declaring that no harm will happen...
Now had He been about to continue in death, they might have gone to Him, for to that place we all depart. His words therefore bent the simpler portion of the multitude, terrified the bolder, made the more intelligent anxious to hear Him, since but little time was now left, and since it was not in their power always to enjoy this teaching. Nor did He merely say, I am here, but, I am with you, that is, Though you persecute, though ye drive Me away, yet for a little while I shall not cease dispensing what is for your good, saying and recommending the things that relate to your salvation.