“The Bridegroom of our soul” by J.C. Ryle

“We should observe, secondly, in these verses, the name by which our Lord Jesus Christ speaks of Himself. Twice He calls Himself ‘the Bridegroom.’ (Luke 5:34, 35)

The name ‘Bridegroom,’ like every name applied to our Lord in the Bible, is full of instruction. It is a name peculiarly comforting and encouraging to all true Christians.

It teaches the deep and tender love with which Jesus regards all sinners of mankind, who believe in Him. Weak, and unworthy, and short-coming as they are in themselves, He feels towards them a tender affection, even as a husband does towards his wife.

It teaches the close and intimate union, which exists between Jesus and believers. It is something far nearer than the union of king and subject, master and servant, teacher and scholar, shepherd and sheep.

It is the closest of all unions, the union of husband and wife,—the union of which it is written, ‘what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.’ (Matt. 19:6)

Above all, the name teaches that entire participation of all that Jesus is and has, which is the privilege of every believer. Just as the husband gives to his wife his name, makes her partaker of his property, home, and dignity, and undertakes all her debts and liabilities, so does Christ deal with all true Christians.

He takes on Himself all their sins. He declares that they are a part of Himself, and that he who hurts them hurts Him. He gives them, even in this world, such good things as pass man’s understanding.

And He promises that in the next world they shall sit with Him on His throne, and go out from His presence no more.

If we know anything of true and saving religion, let us often rest our souls on this name and office of Christ. Let us remember daily, that the weakest of Christ’s people are cared for with a tender care that passeth knowledge, and that whosoever hurts them is hurting the apple of Christ’s eye.

In this world we may be poor and contemptible, and laughed at because of our religion.

But if we have faith, we are precious in the sight of Christ. The Bridegroom of our soul will one day plead our cause before the whole world.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1858/2012), 1: 119-120. Ryle is commenting on Luke 5:33-39.

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