Day 1 Friend of the Groom
Friend of the Groom
Jesus Often Used Wedding Imagery
The term “Friend of the Groom” would have been as common place to an ancient Jewish mind as the term “Best Man” is to our modern western mind. Jesus often wove wedding imagery, understood by the people of the day, into his teachings. In the 30 Days of Honor we will look at that wedding imagery through the lives of a fictional couple, Jacob and Sarah and apply the scriptures to our own relationship with Jesus as The Bride of Christ.
Ancient Jewish wedding tradition required that the father of the groom choose the bride. Often the groom had an idea of who he wanted to marry and often the bride and groom had a liking for each other, however, unlike modern western culture, the negotiation for marriage was between the fathers.
The father of the groom would send a representative, called the “Friend of the Groom”, often a family member, to the father of the bride for the initial negotiations. The “Friend of the Groom” would learn from the bride’s father, the price required and even make some offers representing the groom and his father. Today the story begins…becoming the Bride of Christ.
Choosing The Bride
Jacob and Sarah, young teenagers, lived in the same village near Jerusalem. Growing up Jacob had always had an eye for Sarah. He loved her enthusiasm, her way with words and her kind spirit. Her beauty overwhelmed him and as a young boy and he knew one day she would be his wife.
Sarah, a few years younger than Jacob couldn’t help but like this cute boy who also displayed an inner strength of character. He loved to have fun, and she would often see him defy the norm and find himself in trouble…again. However, he also had a very kind and sensitive heart towards those who were hurting and it was obvious he loved deeply. Even as children there seemed to be a kindred spirit between them. Secretly Sarah thought…maybe someday I will be his wife.
Jacob was turning 15 and it was time for his father to choose a bride. Jacob told his father – Sarah was “The One” for him. Lately Sarah, age 13, noticed her parents watching Jacob. She would hear their whispers and small disagreements or approvals. Her heart stirred; would they choose Jacob for her?
One day a man came to their door, Sarah recognized him right away, he was from Jacob’s family. Sarah’s sister answered the door and the man asked for Sarah’s father, the two men went behind closed doors for an important discussion. Sarah couldn’t help herself. She took her broom by the door, pretending to sweep and listened. She heard the man’s voice, “today I am here as “The Friend of the Groom”, my brother would like to arrange the marriage of his son Jacob and your daughter Sarah.
His request for Jacob and Sarah to be betrothed and marry in the future was the first step of a contractual negotiation for marriage. Sarah’s father agreed and the “Friend of the Groom” returned a few days later with Jacob and his father and the three began to negotiate “the price of the bride”. Jacob would pay a significant price to take Sarah as his Bride. The marriage contract would soon be initiated.
We Are Deeply Loved and Chosen By Jesus Christ
Do you sometimes feel rejected, unwanted, a “charity case”, the “worm that I am”, barely deserving the mercy of God? The truth is We Were Chosen, yes you and I, to be in Covenant with Jesus Christ, His Bride. We are deeply loved, accepted and desired by our bridegroom. Regardless of your experience with earthly men, the King of the Universe chooses you!
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”John 15:16
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love.” Ephesians 1:4
3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3
The Holy Spirit is The Friend of The Groom, Jesus Christ
Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit is the one who draws us to Jesus, convicts us of our sin, comforts us, intercedes for us. The Holy Spirit seeks us out and continues to draw us to accept the love of Christ.
6 “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” John 14:26
“43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:43-44
John the Baptist saw himself as The Friend of The Groom, Jesus
He “prepared the way of The Lord” drawing people to follow Christ.
28“You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ 29“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30“He must increase, but I must decrease.…” John 3:28-30
Choosing Honor as my “Filter”
Understanding the depth of this passage, “you were bought with a price” has created a new filter for my thoughts, motives, reactions, words and heart in a much deeper way. A filter, is used to remove impurities. Jesus Christ, my Bridegroom loves me deeply, he chose me, he paid an exorbitant price for me.
It is out of love and gratitude, not duty that I choose a new filter….Honor God.
How does this impact you? If Honor God is your filter, what changes?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Tomorrow we will look at The Price of the Bride.