Friday

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. (v. 21)

Ephesians 5:21-33 Friday 26 August 2022

Psalm 39

Background

Today’s passage is likely to cause difficulty to many readers whose assumptions about marriage are very different from those reflected in Ephesians. In ancient society, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, male dominance was taken for granted. So it is not surprising that our writer shares that assumption. What is important, and relevant today, is what would have struck the first readers as different.

Note then the emphasis on mutual respect. The marital partner is above all a fellow-Christian. There is no hint of a husband’s arbitrary power. The role model is Christ himself, seen as the bridegroom in a marriage with the Church as bride (compare Revelation 21:2). It is in this context that Genesis 2:24 is quoted in verse 31.

To Ponder:

  • What can we learn from this passage about marriage relationships today?
  • Do you find the identification of the Church as 'the bride of Christ' helpful? What is the reason for your answer?
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