So how do we respond to those steps that He took as the Bridegroom? How do we respond? Who are we? How do we accept this offer of marriage? Well, as you might guess, because He loved us first and because we would not have known how to love Him without that, our steps are a little bit different than His. The same, but a little varied.
The first one, of course, is that we must accept His pursuit. Remember, there was a pursuit set in motion. We must accept that pursuit. In other words, sooner or later, it’s got to grab our attention. We must accept the fact that He is pursuing us. John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”(NIV) The Father makes the arrangements, the Father calls the Bride to the Son.
We also see that in Isaiah 54:5&10; 55:1-8 scripture says, “For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer. “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you….”Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”(NIV)
Do you see the pursuit? The invitation and the pursuit. God pursued the nation of Israel, His people, after they had abandoned Him and made them a Light to the nations. His Son, the Son of David, is His ultimate Light. He is in pursuit of a people, a people to call His own. He is in pursuit. In pursuit of a Bride for His Son. We have to recognize His pursuit and follow. Come to me while I may be found.
And, of course, we know that when Jesus went to His disciples in pursuit He said, “Come follow me.” Come you who are thirsty, come drink from the waters of life, come follow me. There is a pursuit set in motion. Therefore, our first step is to accept His pursuit when He calls us to follow Him. For today is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2)
The next step is the process of finding a bride. It is the Father’s responsibility to make the arrangement within Jewish culture to make the arrangement for the bride. We call God the Creator, the Father, and we call Jesus, the Son. There is a reason for that, they very much have a Father to Son relationship when it comes to the ritual of marriage. It is the relationship of a Father of the bridegroom and the Son who is the bridegroom. It is His Father’s responsibility to find Him a bride and make the arrangements for the Son’s bride.
It is God Himself providing a bride for His son, Adam. That’s what Luke calls Adam, God’s son. God not only formed Eve from Adam, but He Himself brought Eve to Adam. In otherwords, God made the introductions and performed the wedding. We also see Abraham making the arrangement, through his servant, for a bride for his son, Isaac. Her name, of course, was Rebekah. We see it again with Isaac and Jacob. Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him away for a bride. Again it was the father’s responsibility to make that arrangement or see that it happens. Therefore the arrangement for a bride is the duty of the father of the groom.
In John 6:44 it says, ““No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”(NIV) In other words, we do not even have the capacity to come to Jesus, our Bridegroom, unless the Father Himself makes the introductions. Yes, God makes all the arrangements to provide a bride for His Son. Then in John 10:27-30 we find, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””(NIV) Here we continue to see this idea played out in the life of Jesus. Did you see it, “My Father who has given them to me”? This is just one example in scripture of Jesus saying something to that affect. His bride had been given to Him. God the Father had made all the arrangements and arranges the introduction.
In the life and ministry this is seen after His baptism and temptation. Yeshua begins to call His disciples. He is calling His Bride to Himself. His Father has laid the ground work and brought them together, now Jesus only needs to say, “Come follow me”. Whether or not they did was up to them. We definitely see an example in Mark 10 with the account of the young ruler when our beloved Yeshua gives the call to come follow Him and the young man rejects that call.
You might ask how God has laid the ground work and made the arrangements, drawing us to His Son. It is not a complicated answer. He made all of us with a need for Him. He made us in His image. However, our sin has corrupted that image in us and we all know there is a problem. We all seek a solution for the corruption within us. Truth is God made the path to Him very clear. He prepared a people to bring forth His Son and to write down His Word. He has told us that He is the solution to our problem of corruption. He calls us to come and reason with Him, He calls us to wisdom, He tells us of His desire to be our God and for us to be His people, He declares His love for us. He has prepared the way!