Monday, May 18, 2020
As we continue our study of the Gospel of John, we come this week to chapter two. Jesus is prepared to introduce Himself to the world. He chooses to do it at a wedding.
John 2:1-2 “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.”
Weddings are fun. I love them. I was supposed to officiate two weddings this month, but plans changed because of our world’s health crisis. One wedding was held early, and the other has been postponed until September. Neither will be exactly what the bride wanted, except that she will still be married to the man she wanted.
One thing I’ve learned about weddings over the 40 years I have been officiating them is that you never upstage the bride. It was different in Jesus’ day, where weddings focused on the groom. I wonder when the change happened?
Biblically, the focus of a wedding is always on the groom. You and I, the Church, are the Bride of Christ. All of the attention is on the Groom – Jesus. He invited us to be His bride, just like in a modern day engagement. But that seems to be where the similarity ends. Today the bride takes on the role of planning the wedding and planning the reception. The groom gets to plan a rehearsal dinner.
The Bible has different ideas about the final wedding you and I will ever attend – our wedding to Jesus. Jesus has invited us to be His Bride. He has left to prepare our home where we will live together with Him forever. He will return one day to get us and escort us to the marriage ceremony. There will be a huge wedding feast to celebrate our marriage. We read about it in Revelation 19.
“6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
Notice how the Bride is to get ready for the wedding – by putting on the right wedding garments. What are those garments? They are the fine white linen of righteous deeds.
Jesus died on the cross to conquer sin, yet so many of us refuse to wear the clothing of righteousness. Instead, we continue to wear the clothing of unrighteousness. We seek to gratify our own desires and live according to the standards of the world. We continue to please self and others. Yet, if asked, we tell people we are excited to be the bride of Christ and can’t wait for the wedding celebration in heaven.
Something is terribly wrong with this scenario. It is no different than an engaged person having an affair with another person up until the wedding day, and hoping it won’t affect the marriage.
Can it be said of you, that as the Bride of Christ, you are making yourself ready for the wedding by putting on the garments of righteousness and keeping them clean? I hope so. The Groom is about to arrive.