Hi this is Pastor Ken and I want to welcome you once again to the Monday Marriage Message. This is episode # 10 in our study of Ephesians 5:21-33
Today we will focus on verses 31 and 32, but I will begin reading with last week’s focal point, verse 30 for context. For we are members of His body of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh” This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
You will recall that last week I spoke of the truth from verse 30 that as Christ followers we are considered by God to be one with Christ just as we are one with our spouse. In that verse, the analogy used throughout the entirety of God’s word is described as having become our current reality. We are married to Jesus! Ephesians 5:31 is a direct quotation of God in the Garden of Eden as He endorsed the goodness of the “One Flesh” condition He had created between Adam and Eve. We can find His original statement recorded in Genesis 2:24. Jesus also quoted the same truth when speaking to the Pharisees in a conversation recorded for us in both Matthew chapter 19 and Mark chapter 10. In that exchange Jesus was attempting to help the Pharisees understand that marriage is something only constructed by God and so, mere men do not posses the necessary understanding to be able to successfully undo it. He not only quoted Genesis 2:24 but added His own commentary as well. In Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9.It is recorded that Jesus concluded His thoughts of what God miraculously does at every marriage between a man and a woman with the following statement. “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.Therefore, what God has joined together let not man separate”.
The Greek word Jesus used in that conversation was suzeugnumi (sood-zyoog’-noo-mee), and it means to join two for a singular united purpose. It is only used in the New Testament to reference a man and a woman joined in marriage. It’s literal meaning is to glue together in a manner that will not allow for successful future separation. One intimation is that of homogenization, where two similar yet different substances are mixed with such finality that they no longer attempt to separate. A wonderful example being milk. Prior to homogenization, the cream will rise to the top and separate itself from the milk. After milk is homogenized, in its new thoroughly mixed state it will no longer separate. I also like to use an illustration of making bread. Though separate ingredients make up the dough, once baked it has become joined in a way that separation of those ingredients is no longer possible.
Jesus was making the point that when God joins a man and a woman he does so to give two different people one united purpose, simply stated that purpose is to reflect the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). Furthermore, He was reiterating that what God joins, man cannot fathom how to unjoin. Just as a person enjoying a slice of bread produced by a baker, can perceive the different flavors and textures of the original ingredients but has no ability to reduce the bread back to its original components.
If we are in fact “One Flesh” with Jesus as we saw last week from verse 30 then this joining of us to Christ has indeed taken place as well. When we accept Christ as both Lord and Savior, we join ourselves with Him. We become as Paul wrote, members of His body of His flesh and of His bones. As I said a few moments ago, Paul clearly indicated in this verse that the analogy has become the reality. This is no longer an attempt to describe, but rather to define the relationship between Christ and us. As “One Flesh” with Jesus, we are to be inseparable from Him. We are to be joined in such a way that we can no longer become un-joined. It is intended to be a covenantal relationship that has no end.
The implications of this relationship are in a sense then unending. Everything we do, we do sood-zyoog’-noo-mee’ed to Jesus. We no longer posses the ability to successfully separate ourselves from Him. All of our words, thoughts and actions are fully exposed before Him. We should understand this is not because He is a far-a-way God who sees across time and space because of omniscience, it is because we have willingly been joined to Him, Married to Him, and His omnipresence allows for individual, intimate relationship with each and every one of us. This is a glorious thing! Weddings are something to celebrate! It could be a daunting thing as a fallible being to consider that we are joined in a “One Flesh” relationship with a perfect groom. The weight of that has the potential to limit our joy when we realize that though created in His image and likeness, we are not perfect in all of our ways as He is. However, our joy can be restored when we consider that Paul reminded us that in the past Jesus gave Himself for us. In the present He is setting us aside especially for Himself, and is washing us by the water of the Word. And in the future, He intends to present us to Himself a perfect bride, just as He presented Adam with Eve. On that glorious day, Jesus will look at us and see nothing but perfection! I imagine The Last Adam will do just as the first Adam did and joyfully exclaim…Finally! Flesh of my flesh and Bone of my bone!
Additionally I think it important to recognize that Verse 31 contains a noteworthy formula. Originally in Genesis 2:24 it was given as the formula for how this amazing “One Flesh” relationship between Adam and Eve would be duplicated and passed on throughout the rest of human history. I believe God was saying that the oneness He had given to Adam and Eve by literally creating Eve from the flesh and bone of Adam was perfect for the singular purpose of reflecting His attributes and character. I think that God was expressing that He would use the process of marriage to recreate that oneness between a man and a woman going forward throughout time. He would not put each man to sleep and take a rib and fashion for that man a wife. Instead, He purposed that a man would choose to leave the comfort of his father and mother’s home a product of their one flesh condition. God would then join that man to his wife, and they would become a newly formed marriage that would miraculously experience their own “One Flesh” condition reminiscent of the one Adam and Eve enjoyed. (Matthew 19 & Mark 10)
Furthermore, I think that When Paul was inspired to add that quotation in his letter to the Ephesians it was because the parallel requires our consideration. Jesus left His Father’s home, Heaven, to seek out His bride, the church…us, so that we could be members of His body of His flesh and of His bones. The process was the same. Through His death on the cross, the penalty for all of our sin was placed upon His righteous shoulders. Our sin forced a separation of Jesus from God His Father. Why did this have to happen? Because through the miracle of resurrection, our sin could be exonerated, and He could finally be made one with us, His bride. When Jesus went to the cross, the analogy became the reality indeed!
I think Jesus gave this voice in His prayer for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. In John chapter 17:20-23 that portion of His prayer to His Father the night before His crucifixion is recorded for us. He prayed; “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word; that they may be one, as you Father are in Me, and I in You; That they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And the Glory which You gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one; I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as You have loved Me”.
Jesus was clear, He was going to the cross so that we could be redeemed for the express purpose of freeing us so that He would be free to take us as His bride! Hebrews 12:1-2 says this of the way that Jesus sees us and the response we should have as we look back at Him. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. It kind of sounds like the description of a beautiful wedding and a perfect marriage doesn’t it?
Questions to answer:
What does it mean to you that Jesus places such high importance on being one with you?
Now that it is obvious that the analogy has indeed become the reality, what differences does that inspire you to make in your marriage with your spouse?
Actions to take:
Take some time to meditate on what Jesus did for you and why He was so glad to do it.
Thank Him personally for being so desirous to go to such lengths to make you His bride.
So now, in gratitude to a Lord and Savior who loves you so much that He was willing to do whatever it took to make you one with you eternally, spend each day in this life living expressly for Him and…Go be Awesome!