THE BRIDEGROOM AND THE BRIDE
The third sign in John 3 is that of the bride. How marvelous that this chapter takes us from a serpent to a bride! John 3:29 says, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom.” All believers, brothers and sisters alike, are part of this bride. I am very happy to be included in this bride.
John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself could contain the books written.” This verse, together with 20:30-31, affirms that this Gospel is the record of a selection of things that serve a particular purpose. Certain things that Jesus did are recorded in this Gospel as signs. We have seen that in chapter three there are three signs—regeneration, the brass serpent, and the bride. It is significant that there is no mention of the bride in chapter two, and no mention in chapter three of the changing of water into wine.
According to 3:26, the disciples of John the Baptist said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you across the Jordan, of whom you testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” This indicates that the disciples of John the Baptist were jealous because many of his followers were turning to the Lord Jesus. But John said to them, “You yourselves testify of me that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom” (vv. 28-29). By this we see that it was John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus, who spoke in 3:29 concerning the bride and the bridegroom.
John’s brief word concerning the bride is very significant. It indicates that all regenerated persons are components of the bride who will be married to the Lord Jesus as the Bridegroom. How marvelous! Why do we, serpentine beings, need to be replaced and regenerated to have another life? It is correct to say that the goal is that we may enter into the kingdom of God and become members of the Body of Christ. However, according to the context of the whole chapter, regeneration issues in the bride of Christ.
Have you ever realized that you have been regenerated in order to become a part of Christ’s bride? Perhaps some would argue and say, “When the Lord Jesus speaks about regeneration in this chapter, He doesn’t indicate that we are regenerated in order to become part of the bride. Instead, He tells us that we must be regenerated so that we may enter into the kingdom of God.” Let us not isolate verses 1 through 8 from the chapter as a whole. We should not separate the Lord’s word concerning regeneration from what is written in this chapter regarding the brass serpent and the bride. Only when we put these three matters together can we have a complete understanding of what this chapter reveals.
We need to see that regeneration means that our serpentine being is put aside and that we receive the divine life in order to become a new being so that we may be a part of the bride. By this we see that regeneration is for producing the bride of Christ. Have you been regenerated? Are you a regenerated person? What is the goal of your regeneration? If you see the vision revealed in this chapter, your thinking will be revolutionized and you will be able to declare that you have been regenerated so that you may become part of Christ’s bride. You will say, “Lord Jesus, hallelujah! I am part of Your bride, Your counterpart. Lord, how sweet and pleasant it is that I am part of Your heart’s love and desire!” We all are part of the bride of Christ. We all need to realize that through regeneration we have been made part of the bride of Christ. We all can declare, “Through regeneration I have become a part of the bride of Christ!”
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)