The Father's Love for Us
Jan 20, 2019
No more shall people call you “Forsaken,” or your land “Desolate,” but you shall be called “My Delight,” and your land “Espoused.” For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.
Today’s readings are a perfect example of the Old Testament reading informing how we are to understand the Gospel reading. The first work of Jesus takes place at the wedding feast in Cana. John wants us to see that Christ is the groom who has come to take his bride. This is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that I quote above. John carries this theme to the very end of his Gospel where Jesus is dead and hanging on the cross. Then a soldier, to confirm Jesus is dead, thrusts his spear into His side and blood and water flow down. John stops his narration of the event to tell us that this really happened and an eye witness saw it.
John sees Jesus as the new Adam. In Genesis, God puts Adam into a deep sleep (read that: kills him) to remove a rib from his side and uses it to create Eve. God reawakens Adam and presents Eve to him. Adam rejoices and recognizes that she was made from his flesh. Now with Jesus as he hangs dead on the cross the blood and water flowing from His side becomes the tool for recreating humanity into the new creation of Jesus’ spouse (the Church).
This spousal love is of a very different nature than parental love. Most of us will recognize that God loves us, but too often we think of that love in a parental way. He loves us, but he wants us to do our best. He loves us, but he still expects us to do our chores. God has upped the ante through Isaiah. God has taken us as His spouse. Remember the wedding vows: “I take you to be my spouse. I promise to be true to you in good times and bad, in sickness and health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” I remind every wedding congregation of this reality of God’s love for us. He will be true to us in good times and bad, in sickness and health.
This is a powerful teaching that John gives us, but too often we lose it in the midst of the changing of water into wine. As our spouse, Jesus takes our ordinary (regular water) and transforms it into something very good. He takes our ordinary lives and through his blood and water transforms them into His spouse.