After looking at the foundational truth that marriage reflects the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then examining some texts that reveal marriage as a God-ordained good for his creatures, I want to briefly note an under-appreciated aspect of the Bible’s teaching on marriage. At two different places we see that Christ blessed marriage as a gift from God.
Jesus Endorsed Marriage as a Divine Institution
The first passage is Matthew 19:3-6:
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:3-6 ESV)
Given the opportunity to either redefine or undermine the institution of marriage, Jesus does neither. If the Lord wanted to overthrow the cultural burden of marriage, this was his opportunity. But instead he honored it. He’s not looking to be an innovative theologian or a cultural progressive; he’s looking to reestablish and reaffirm the good design of God. So he goes back to the beginning, to Genesis 1–2 before the Fall messed things up in Genesis 3! Just as in the beginning the Creator God gave the good gift of marriage to the man and the woman, so here God the Son reaffirms and endorses that original design.
Jesus Blessed Marriage by His Presence at the Wedding in Cana
The second passage in which we see Jesus honoring the institution of marriage is in John 2:1-11. John gives us this passage to show the unique power and divinity of the Lord Jesus, that all might believe in him. But implicit in this story is the honor Jesus conveys to marriage as an institution by his mere presence. Consider Spurgeon’s words:
“This beginning of miracles was wrought at a wedding to show great beneficence. Marriage was the last relic of paradise left among men, and Jesus hasted to honor it with his first miracle. Marriage is his Father’s ordinance; for he it was that brought Eve to Adam; and our Lord wrought in harmony with the Father. He symbolically touched the very springs of manhood, and gave his sanction to that ordinance whereby the race is perpetuated. Jesus comes to a marriage, and gives his blessing there, that we may know that our family life is under his care.” (“The Beginning of Miracles Which Jesus Did”)
Of all places, Jesus chose to first reveal his glory at a wedding. Jesus loves marriage, because he (as God the Son) designed it.
Jesus revealed his high esteem for marriage in his earthly ministry. How will you let what Jesus thinks about marriage shape your views? What about your marriage?
** I’m excited to be speaking at the ERLC national conference, which will cover this and other issues related to marriage. We would love to have you join us in Nashville Oct. 27-29. **