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Daily Readings - John 2:1-11

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings
John 2:1-11

How honourable in the sight of Christ is the estate of matrimony! To be present at a 'marriage' was almost the first public act of our Lord's earthly ministry.

Marriage is not a sacrament, as the church of Rome asserts. It is simply a state of life ordained by God for man's benefit. But it is a state which ought never to be spoken of with levity, or regarded with disrespect. The Prayer Book service has well described it as an 'honourable esate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, and signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church'. Society is never in a healthy condition and true religion never flourishes in that land where the marriage tie is lightly esteemed. They who lightly esteem it have not the mind of Christ. He who 'beautified and adorned the estate of matrimony by his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee' is one who is always of one mind. 'Marriage', says the Holy Ghost by St. Paul, 'is honourable in all' (Heb. 13:4).

One thing, however, ought not to be forgotten. Marriage is a step which so seriously affects the temporal happiness and spiritual welfare of two immortal souls that it ought never to be taken in hand 'unadvisedly, lightly, wantonly, and without due consideration'. To be truly happy, it should be undertaken 'reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God'. Christ's blessing and presence are essential to a happy wedding. The marriage at which there is no place for Christ and his disciples is not one that can justly be expected to prosper.

We learn from these verses that there are times when it is lawful to be merry and rejoice. Our Lord himself sanctioned a wedding feast by his own presence. He did not refuse to be a guest at a 'marriage in Cana in Galilee'.

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