The Marriage in Cana -- By: Carl Armerding

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 118:472 (Oct 1961)
Article: The Marriage in Cana
Author: Carl Armerding


The Marriage in Cana

Carl Armerding

[Carl Armerding, D.D., Foreign Secretary, Greater Europe Mission and President, Central American Mission.]

“Marriage is an honorable estate instituted by God in the time of man’s innocence…. It was sanctioned and adorned by Christ’s presence at the marriage in Cana of Galilee; and it was likened by St. Paul to the mystical union which subsists between Christ and His church.” How familiar these words are to those who have the solemn privilege of performing a Christian marriage. Does Christ’s presence really adorn many of the so-called Christian marriages of today? Is He the Guest of honor or just one of those who “received an invitation”? Was He consulted when plans were being laid for the founding of this new home? If not, how can such a marriage be likened unto “the mystical union which subsists between Christ and His church”?

With questions such as these in mind, we turn again to the familiar account of the marriage in Cana of Galilee as given to us in John 2:1–11. The closing verses of the previous chapter may well serve as an inspired introduction to what we have here. I am persuaded that the arrangement is designed and therefore significant. Our Lord’s words to Nathanael clearly teach that there will be, in a day yet to come, a very definite connection between things on earth and things in heaven. But even here and now those whose citizenship is in heaven may anticipate that day by making their married life a living, loving illustration of that union which subsists between Christ and His church.

It is indeed a wonderful thing that the Lord Jesus should choose a humble home, in an obscure village, to manifest His glory. But such is His grace. And since it is His glory which is manifested we need not be surprised that it is not the bridegroom or the bride nor the governor of the feast, nor yet the mother of Jesus, who is prominent here. It is He who is God manifest in the flesh who is pre-eminent. And that is exactly as it should be. Previous to this our Lord had been baptized of John in Jordan. After that He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. But He did not, like John, remain in the wilderness. He was no recluse.

As Son of man He moved about among the children of man even though they did refer to Him as “a man gluttonous and a winebibber,” a friend of publicans and sinners. In contrast to the lonely Baptist He could refer to Himself as the Bridegroom, and His disciples as “the children of the bridechamher” (Luke 5:34).

It was most appropriate...

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