The Friend of the Bridegroom
Wisdom's Corner
The Friend of the Bridegroom

Have you ever been to a wedding? Did you notice that the man getting married had a man standing next to him? And did you notice that the woman getting married had a woman standing next to her? The man getting married is known as the groom. The man standing next to him is the best man or groomsman. The woman getting married is the bride. And the woman next to her is the bridesmaid. The best man and the bridesmaid are asked to stand next to the couple getting married because they are special friends or family members.

At a marriage in Judea, during Bible times, every marriage had two groomsmen, one for the bride and one for the groom. These individuals were also known as the "friends of the bridegroom."

Before the marriage these "friends" acted as go-betweens for the couple. At the wedding they presented gifts and waited upon the bride and the groom. They also made sure that the two remained chaste and pure virgins before the wedding. After the marriage it was the responsibility of the friend of the bridegroom to help maintain proper terms between the couple. And even more importantly to defend the good fame of the bride against all imputations (false accusations).

Paul pictures himself as the "friend of the bridegroom" in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

Paul had brought these people to Christ. The church in Corinth was the bride to Christ. And Paul not only felt the great responsibility to bring them to Christ but to continue to make sure that the church stayed in the right relationship with Christ. He knew that it was possible for the bride to leave the right relationship with Christ. This not only is true for each individual Christian but also for a whole congregation.

One of our responsibilities as a Christian is to live the life of a Christian; another is to bring others to Christ; and another is to stay concerned for those we convert. If we see something that may hinder them from living the right life, we need to warn them. If we hear someone teaching something that is going to lead them away from Christ, then we need to warn them. Only by helping to ensure their purity to Christ can we honestly defend them against false accusations of impurity.

Study your Bible. Learn what God wants you to know and do. It is not only important for you but also for all of those who you will convert to Christ. All of us need to know how to stay chaste and pure in our relationship with Christ.

If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you. Until next time, get the wisdom of God.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 1999

Published by The Old Paths Bible School