Summary: Jesus used many parts of the Jewish wedding in symbolism of the Christian Life. In this message we look at the words Jesus used in the institution of the Lord's supper in light of the Jewish Marriage proposal.
“WILL HOU HAVE THIS MAN / WOMAN?”
Dorn Ridge, May 30, 2010
1.) Probably many here will be to a wedding sometime this year.
2.) Most of us attend one or more weddings each year.
3.) As we go to a wedding ceremony there is usually what is referred to as the “Declaration of Intent”.
A.) This is the point of the ceremony where a question is asked by which the bride and groom will declare to everyone what the purpose or intention is of meeting that day.
B.) Usually the question will be asked in the following manner: “will you have this woman to be your wife? Will you have this man to be your husband?
4.) Today, I want us to look at the Jewish marriage proposal.
A.) As we see the manner in which a groom would propose to his bride, I also want us to see the manner in which Christ proposed to His bride – The Church.
I. THE JEWISH BRIDE WAS USUALLY ASKED IF SHE WOULD BE WILLING TO MARRY THE GROOM.
1.) The Bible records examples of the bride’s consent being given for the marriage.
A.) Rebecca gave her permission before her marriage to Isaac.
aa.) Gen. 24:57-60
2.) In Jewish culture, there was a formal wedding proposal and response.
A.) There were some preliminary steps in the marriage process.
aa.) we have already seen of the selection of the bride.
ab.) After the bride had been selected, the father of the bride would look at a bride price which we examined last week.
ac.) Discussions among the Groom and the bride’s father would take place until an agreement could be reached on what was considered to be a fair price for the bride.
B.) The wedding proposal.
ba.) The wedding proposal was different than ours.
ba-1.) In our culture tradition states the man usually gets down on one knee and in a very special moment between him and the potential bride asks her to be his wife.
ba-2.) In the Jewish wedding proposal it was also a special moment, but those present would be the bride, groom, the parents of the bride, and possibly the parents of the groom.
bb.) The Jewish wedding proposal also involved a ritual, and traditions to follow.
bb-1.) The proposal centered around a glass of wine given to the bride from the groom.
bb-2.) The glass of wine he would give her was called the “Kiddush Cup” (Sanctification Cup)(or Cup of Setting apart for this new relationship.)
bb-3.) In front of the families, the groom would pour out this cup of wine for his bride and hold it up in his right hand to offer to his bride.
bb-3i.) When the groom offered this cup to his bride he was officially proposing to her and asking her to be his bride.
bb-3ii.) The bride at that point could either accept the glass of wine and drink from it, or refuse to take it from the groom.
bb-3iii.) Sometimes the bride might wait a few minutes before taking the wine in order to have the groom wait in suspense for an answer.
bb-3iii.) If the bride accepted the wine and drank it, she was officially accepting the wedding proposal of the groom and saying to him, “I will be your bride.”
II. THE CHURCH WAS ASKED IN A FORMAL WEDDING PROPOSAL TO BE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.
1.) Just hours before the crucifixion, Jesus asked the Apostles if they would be the bride of Christ.
A.) As You hear this statement, likely some of you are asking where you are getting this; I don’t remember any Scripture where Jesus proposed to the Church, or spoke to the Apostles asking them to be his bride.
B.) Like you, some of these thoughts were new concepts to me.
C.) You see when we look at the Scriptures we look at them from the perspective of Christians who have come to Christ from a Pagan or Gentile background.
D.) But when we approach Scripture from the perspective of the Jewish Christians we see a whole different perspective than we have been used to in our understanding of Scriptures.
da.) When we see it as the Jews did, we see not only The Word of God, but also the Jewish culture and how it seasoned our Scriptures.
db.) Jesus speaking, both from and to a Jewish audience presented ideas with even more symbolism than we would otherwise see from our culture when we look at Scripture.
2.) The formal Jewish wedding proposal was over a cup of wine.
A.) When Jews would observe the Passover feast there were four cups of wine used in the celebration of the Passover.
B.) The evening of the Crucifixion, Jesus observed the Passover feast with the Apostles.