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Who is Jesus (2 of 4) The Passionate Bridegroom

Mike Connell

Page 2 of 9
So if we're going to understand Jesus the bridegroom, we do have to understand a little bit about how the wedding ceremony took place, in the Jewish context. You need to know what it was like when Jesus - when the Book was written, the people understood exactly what He was talking about, because He was writing to their culture. He was writing to their culture, so for example if we said that the local tribe had called a hui, for many people they wouldn't have a clue what that's about, but for the local tribe they'd say we know exactly what that's all about. Do you understand? So you have to have a bit of culture to pick it, so let's just go through it.

The Jewish wedding consists of two parts, two primary parts and there's a bit in between. We're in the bit in between. The primary parts are what's called the betrothal, and then the actual wedding itself, the betrothal, and then the wedding. I want you to look with me, and you'll find this referred to in Matthew, Chapter 1. We're going to look first of all just quickly at the main aspects of a Jewish wedding in Jesus' day, and then we're going to see how Jesus - what He is to us, and how to respond, because the Bible's very clear on what the bride had to do.

There was a part the bride plays. There's a part we play. Okay, let's go - in Matthew, Chapter 1, Verse 18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph - the nearest thing we could say is the word 'engaged', but if I use the word engaged, you'll have a different concepts, so we use the word 'betrothed' - before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make a public example of her, was thinking or pondering about divorcing her. So notice the word divorce is connected to someone who's engaged, so their concept of betrothal is different to ours - so here's how a Hebrew wedding went. There's a family, you can imagine a family, and they've got the father, and got a young daughter. The father's concerned that the young daughter get married, and the common practice there, number one, was the arrangement which is called in Hebrew language Shiddukhin.

Now what happened was, it took place one of three ways; either the father of the groom came and negotiated with the father of the bride, which happened to Samson. Samson's father negotiated - or he sent someone. He sent an agent on his behalf to the family, and negotiated with the father, but there's always the negotiation first of all. So of course in the story of Abraham, you remember how Abraham sent Alianza to negotiate for a bride, so these pictures are scattered through the Bible - or the son himself would come, and he would do the negotiation. So the first part was the arrangement, or the initiating the prospect of a marriage, and so the young man would have to bring with him a lot of money, and he would also bring with him a wedding contract, and he would bring with him some wine. He would go - and you could imagine this day when a man turns up at the house, and it's obvious from how he's come that he is looking to set up a wedding. You can imagine the excitement in the house.

Now at this point the girl goes out, and the men negotiate, so there's a negotiation takes place, and what is determined in that negotiation is the next thing, the bridal price. What is this? What do I need to pay for the bride? How much do I need to pay, because the family is losing their daughter. They're losing, or there's a loss in the family, and there's a gain in the other family, so there was always a bridal price paid. They did a negotiation until they agreed upon the price that would be paid, and of course the higher the value of the bride, the higher the price that was paid, so if you got 10 oxen that's very, very - ooh, that's impressive! So the bigger the price, the more value is placed. So there's a negotiation takes place to purchase the bride, and once the price has been paid, once the money is all agreed and been paid, then the woman is then no longer going to be part of the family. She is now freed to become part of the new family, so this is a big deal, the bridal price.