Tuesday, April 01, 2008

At a wedding, on the third day

One of the elements in the marriage service that bugs me (alongside the common usage of 1 Corinthians 13) is where marriage is said to be endorsed by God because Jesus attended a wedding (when God's invention of it in Genesis 2 is surely enough?). Anyone who reads the gospels knows that Jesus going somewhere is not an endorsement of it.

Anyway, I was reading the start of John recently and pondering...

In John 1 we see Jesus annointed by the Spirit and John the Baptist saying Jesus is the lamb. King's get annointed, lamb's die. Early on we know where this story is going. At the end of John 2 he says that Nathanael will see angels descending and ascending on the Son of Man which has got to be an allusion to Jacob's dream in which he sees a stairway to heaven (Genesis 28) - at Bethel, 'the house of God'. Jesus is that way! A King who dies who will be the way to heaven.

And then we're told that Jesus is at a wedding. Except it's not his - he's asked to do the groom's duty of providing wine and does 'as his first sign' but this isn't supposed to be his wedding. That will come later, but who will be his bride? The event happens on the third day (2:1) which is always worth noting. The King will die, be the way to God and will have a marriage where the wine flows (Isaiah 25v6 etc), that is connected to the third day.

Next, Jesus goes to the temple to talk about destroying and rebuilding it in three days... which John notes was Jesus talking about the resurrection though they didn't realise it at the time. But, Jesus is the house of God. He is the place God's people will meet with God. He's the king, who will die, who is the way to God, who will have a marriage and will rise from the dead. John says, see Jesus and believe that he's the way to abundant eternal life.


  1. I think the idea of endorsement flows, not from Jesus' attendance but it being Jesus' first public act of ministry. And it's not altogether unreasonable to see some significance in that. And it might be worth saying that if you want to be modelling good Hermeneutics, then you should be looking at the OT (Gen 2) through the lens of Jesus too.

  2. I'm not saying there is no significance, but rather that marriage gets it's support very strongly from Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5. Do explain what you mean by looking at Gen 2 through the lens of Jesus.

  3. It isn't Jesus wedding, but it kinda indicates that Jesus is THE groom. After all, the succeeds where the groom failed. I suspect this is parabolic in John's mind of Jesus' relation to fruitless israel (he is after all, the true vine, being/doing what Israel was supposed to be/do but miserably failed).

    And, marriage is valid because Jesus is THE groom. It's what marriage is ultimately about (hence no marriage, except to Jesus, in the new creation).