This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Every blessing of Christianity springs from the union between the Son of God and mankind. This union was inaugurated when God took human nature and thus made it His own, when He became flesh for us, and dwelt among us; and it is continued in His intimate union with the Church, which is His body. It is by this union that Christ confers all graces.
1. In His union with the Church God gives Himself to men, and men give themselves to God. Matrimony should correspond with this idea (Genesis 2:24).
2. In the relations between Christ and the Church we admire perfect unity. This ought also to characterize Christian matrimony.
3. Unity involves indissolubility (Matthew 19:6).
4. Another consequence of unity is the reconciliation of authority and obedience.
5. Forbearance. Christ bears patiently all our imperfections, infirmities, and sins. In a similar manner married people should bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ; as the members of the same body bear the infirmities of one another.
6. The objects to be attained by the union of Christ and His Church are the honour of God and the sanctification of men. The objects of matrimony are the same — the honour of God, the sanctification of the married couple, of the family, and of others who see their good works.
(Bishop W. E. Ketteler).
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.