The opening chapter of the Fourth Gospel tells how two of John’s disciples turned aside from following the forerunner in order to follow Jesus. The story includes an exchange that is frequently overlooked. The two disciples asked Jesus where He lived, to which Jesus replied “Come and see.” The disciples followed Jesus to the place where He was living, but the day was fast waning. According to the text, the two “lived with Him that day” (John 1:37-39). Indeed, they never stopped living with Jesus—they became His companions throughout the rest of His ministry.
The idea of living with Jesus comes up again in John’s gospel. In John 6, Jesus used the metaphor of eating His flesh and drinking His blood as a way of referring to saving faith. He commented that someone who does these things “lives with Me, and I with him” (John 6:56).
This idea is deepened in John 14, where Jesus comforted His disciples in the face of His imminent departure. He stated that His Father’s house contains many “living places,” the future homes of His followers (John 14:2). Jesus also intimated that the Father lives with Jesus, and was the one who works through Him (14:10). He further stated that if someone loves Him and keeps His words, then the Father will love that person. Both the Father and Jesus will come to that person and “make our home” with him (14:23; the word for “home” is the same as the word for “living-places” in verse 2).
For over three years the disciples had been living with Jesus. Now that He was about to go away, this intimate relationship seemed to be threatened. Jesus assured His disciples that His temporary departure guaranteed a place where they would live together with Him forever. In the meanwhile, Jesus pointed to the inner, spiritual presence of the Father with Him as an analog for the spiritual presence of Jesus and the Father with the disciples. In other words, intimacy with Jesus was not merely an eschatological promise, but also an ongoing possibility during Jesus’ bodily absence. read more