Eph.5:31,32 – FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
The mystery that Paul was describing boggles the mind, especially the mind of a first Century former Pharisee who had been called to preach the gospel of the Jewish Messiah to the Gentile world. Not only were the Gentiles being welcomed in they were being brought into this marriage of marital bliss with the Lord Himself. No one could have come up with such a plan but Paul received it as a revelation of the Spirit. Imagine this, Paul is preaching from the first book of the Hebrew Scriptures, Genesis, where he discovers the secret of the union between Adam and Eve. Their union was a picture of the union between Christ and the church. Here is how the Believer’s Bible Commentary describes this.
“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Paul now climaxes his discussion of the marriage relationship by announcing this wonderful truth, hitherto unknown, namely, that as a wife is to her husband, so the church is to Christ.
When Paul says the mystery is great, he does not mean it is very mysterious. Rather he means that the implications of the truth are tremendous. The mystery is the wonderful purpose which was hidden in God in previous ages, but which has now been revealed. That purpose is to call out of the nations a people to become the Body and Bride of His glorious Son. The marriage relationship thus finds its perfect antitype in the relation between Christ and the church.”
One spirit with the Lord:
Jesus, the glorified,
Esteems the church for which He bled,
His body and His bride.
—Mary Bowley Peters
The gospel is beyond human comprehension. He calls people from every culture, every ethnic persuasion, male and female, every age bracket into an eternal fellowship. He calls the billionaires, the homeless, and everyone in between. He calls bankers, lawyers, drug addicts, and alcoholics out of their world and into His family. He joins us in all of our diversity into one body which He calls His bride. Why call us His bride? He is looking for an eternal intimacy with all of those He has purchased with His blood. This mystery is great, He is talking about Christ and the church.