I can’t wait for my wedding day. I know exactly what its going to be like. The caterers have sourced the best wine and the menu looks incredible. I don’t have the dress yet but I’ve been promised that it’ll be given to me, and that it’ll be spotless and perfect. And the groom is the only perfect man who ever lived.
On Sunday we heard from John 4:1-30 about a time that Jesus meets a woman at a well. She’s an unlikely candidate for being a follower of Jesus. She has a scandalous past (five husbands and living with her current man). She’s the sort of person who would feel awkward and nervous about coming to church. What a shock, then, when Jesus strikes up a conversation. Even more shocking is the topic he goes for, when we start to understand what’s going on. Like an unlikely scene from a rom-com, we’re seeing a proposal in action.
Rather than asking ‘would you like to go for a coffee?’ (possible code for ‘can we have a Chat (Capital C) about whether we can spend some time getting to know each other’) Jesus cuts to the chase and asks the woman ‘Give me a drink’, which is Bible code for ‘I want to be your husband’ (have a read of Genesis 24 to see it in action).
He’s not asking to be husband number six; another loser in the long line of disappointments. He’s asking to be her husband in the eternal perfect sense; Jesus is the long awaited bridegroom who has come for his bride – his people.
At the 6pm some of us are married, and lots of us are hoping to be married. Have you ever wondered why we seem to be so wired to want that sort of relationship? Isn’t it because that’s the sort of close, intimate relationship we’re made to be in? Except not with an earthly husband or wife (which we may or may not get). We’re made to be in that sort of relationship with the living, creator God. We’re made to be in that relationship with the perfect bridegroom Jesus.
That relationship is on offer, in full, to anyone who believes, whatever their past. This unnamed woman with five failed marriages isn’t asked to be the awkward token bridesmaid – she is asked to be the bride in a perfect marriage that will last for eternity. She is given the right to belong to God.
That ultimate wedding day is the one we’re all heading for, if we believe in Jesus. It is a wedding that is more real and more meaningful than any wedding you’ll attend in this life, because it is the wedding that all other weddings are pointing forward to.
This relationship that offers me life is one that I get to start enjoying now. And it will be made perfect on that future wedding day when we’re presented to the bridegroom in blameless perfection. I can’t wait.