In “conversation” with Andrew Murray Jr on Johannine Spirituality
God’s presence in Christ’s absence in the Fourth Gospel
AbstractFor Andrew Murray Jr (1828–1917), John 15 was significant for understanding believers’ unification in Christ. Imagining a conversation with him, the essay explores experiences of Jesus’ presence and absence in the Fourth Gospel [FG]. References to God’s presence are characterised by the transferral of “temple” imagery to both Jesus and the Johannine community as the dwelling place where God’s “tabernacling” presence is experienced (1:14; 2:13–22; 14:1–6). These images, distinctive of the ‘household’ dynamic of the FG (1:12–13, 18), are reflected in Jesus’ engagement with his disciples (Jn 13–17) as mutual indwelling between God and them. Amidst his departing words (13:33; 14:2) and his followers’ disillusion and grief (13:36–38; 14:1, 27; 16:20–22), Jesus invites them to “remain/dwell” in him/his love (15:4, 9), waiting upon the Counsellor whom ‘the Father’ will send in his name (14:26; 16:7, 13).
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