He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him…
I. THE PARTIES SPOKEN OF.
1. The bride — the Church (Revelation 21:2; Hosea 2:19; Song of Solomon 4:9).
(1) She is not wellborn, but of the fallen and guilty family of Adam.
(2) Notrich. No tempting dowry does she bring. She owes ten thousand talents, and he who takes her must answer for all she owes.
2. The Bridegroom — Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:2; Matthew 25:1; Song of Solomon passim).
(1) He is of exalted rank. A king's son: Prince of the kings of the earth: "Thy Maker is thy husband (Isaiah 62:5).
(2) He is rich. "It hath pleased the Father that in Him Should all fulness dwell."
II. THE DOCTRINE concerning the parties spoken of — the bridegroom hath the bride.
1. By destination. In some countries brides are betrothed as children: in this case the bride was betrothed before she was born. Hence, the Son of God was glad when the earth was made. He rejoiced over the spot which was to be the birthplace of His spouse, to which He was to come in due time to seek her, and whisper the astonishing avowal, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." This marriage, at any rate, was "made in heaven."
2. By His own choice. A bride by destination is not always the bridegroom's choice. King's sons are often obliged to marry against their choice. A bride by destination merely may, therefore, well have misgivings. But here is no constraint on the bridegroom, "The Lord hath chosen Zion."
3. By purchase. An eastern usage is for a bridegroom to pay a price for a bride, e.g., Jacob. So Christ purchased the Church. Like Jacob, He became a willing servant. The years of service for Rachel seemed unto Jacob but a few days for the love he had to her. So Christ, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross. By the service of pain and death He bought His Church "with a price."
4. By preparation. Esther's preparation lasted a year. So with the Daughter of Zion. The grace of the Holy Spirit is the oil of myrrh, etc., by which she is purified, and becomes beautiful. This preparation is by the bridegroom as well as for Him. His the fountain that washes every stain, and the clothing of wrought gold. By Him she is sanctified that He may present her unto Himself a glorious Church.
5. By mutual contract. When the day of espousals, the day of conversion comes, it is a day of secret interchanges of love never to be forgotten. What are the stipulations?
(1) On the bride's part: To renounce and reject all Christ's rivals, sin, the world, and the flesh, and to love Him with her undivided heart.
(2) On the Bridegroom's part.
(a) He endows her with all He is and has.
(b) He engages to visit her, and it is no fault of His if He is not at her side at all times.
(c) He engages to provide for all her wants.
(d) He engages to defend her.
(e) He engages to take her home with Him for ever in the many mansions of His Father's house.
Parallel VersesKJV: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.