this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.” This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.
Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly; because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones.
Ephesians 5 [31.] “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.” This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly. Nevertheless each of you must also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 6 [1.] Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.”
Paul begins by quoting from Genesis 2:24, where the establishment of marriage is articulated. The union of a man and a woman in marriage is described as a profound coming together, leaving behind familial ties to form a new and intimate connection. The phrase "one flesh" emphasizes the unity and indivisibility of this marital bond.
Revelation of a Mystery:
Verse 32 introduces a significant twist by stating, "This mystery is great." Paul unveils the mystery behind the earthly institution of marriage, declaring that his discussion extends beyond the immediate context. He then clarifies that he is speaking about Christ and the assembly (the Church).
Significance and Reflection:
Symbolism of Unity: Ephesians 5:31-32 underscores the symbolic nature of marriage as a representation of Christ's union with the Church. The leaving and cleaving in marriage reflect the unity and exclusivity of the relationship between Christ and His followers. This symbolism elevates the sanctity and significance of marriage in the eyes of believers.
Christ-Centered Perspective: The verses invite believers to adopt a Christ-centered perspective on marriage. It encourages husbands and wives to view their union not merely as a human institution but as a reflection of the spiritual reality of Christ's love for the Church. This perspective shapes the way couples approach their relationship, infusing it with purpose and divine significance.
Emphasis on Unity: The concept of "one flesh" emphasizes the unity and oneness that should characterize a marital relationship. This unity is not only physical but encompasses emotional, spiritual, and relational dimensions. The call to leave and cleave underscores the exclusivity and priority of the marital bond, mirroring Christ's devoted relationship with the Church.
Matthew 19:5-6: Jesus Himself quotes Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:5-6 when addressing the Pharisees about divorce. This emphasizes the enduring and sacred nature of the marital bond, supporting the significance placed on marriage in both the Old and New Testaments.
Revelation 19:7-9: The imagery of Christ's union with the Church is vividly portrayed in Revelation 19:7-9, where the marriage of the Lamb is celebrated. This future event underscores the culmination of the spiritual reality hinted at in Ephesians 5:31-32.
In Conclusion: Ephesians 5:31-32 unveils the transcendent mystery embedded in the institution of marriage. It invites us to recognize the divine symbolism inherent in the union between a husband and wife, understanding that it mirrors the profound relationship between Christ and the Church. This perspective elevates the significance of marriage and encourages couples to approach their relationship with reverence, viewing it through the lens of Christ's sacrificial love.