Ephesians 5:23-33 gives a very clear picture and incredibly deep statement regarding the image of ‘marriage’ and the relationship of man to woman as compared to Messiah and the Assembly. While pondering this again, last week, I realized as still deeper truth. But, first, some background.
As we have discussed before, there is no word in Hebrew or Greek for ‘marriage;’ or for ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, for that matter. The simple fact is that the relationship throughout Scripture, and as pictured in Ephesians 5, is a master-bondservant relationship.
Culturally, both Jew and Greek, understood the patriarchal master-bondservant relationship that Paul used to illustrate Messiah and the Assembly/ekklesia/qahal/Church. Today, because we have utterly lost a correct understanding of the man-woman relationship, we have a very warped view of Messiah and the Assembly, often importing decidedly unBiblical ideas of egalitarian feminism.
Over the last several years, I have come to the stark reality that in Israel, whether ancient or restored kol Israel, an uncovered woman is completely lost. She has no place and no protection. In an article titled Shame, Reproach, and the image of Marriage, I covered, in part, the utter state of lack that a single/uncovered woman is in. Without question, she has no voice in the Assembly and no one to teach/lead her.
This week, I realized this exact point is clearly illustrated in Ephesians 5!
The Assembly (Church) has no voice, no covering, no protection, etc without the Messiah. Utterly lost. Cut off. The Messiah exists and continues to exist without the Assembly. He is still the Messiah, He is still fulfilled, He has no need of the Assembly. BUT, ‘it is not good that [He] be alone.’
Interestingly, the exact same argument works for man and woman. Recall:
God <= Messiah <= man <= woman1 Cor. 11:3
Woman, as previously demonstrated, is in a place of shame, reproach, and destitution without the covering of man, a matter consistently attested to in Scripture. Man, in the Assembly, is connected to Messiah, and is responsible for woman, as Adam was for Eve.
Woman has no voice, no covering, no protection, etc without the covering of a man. She is in a place of shame and reproach, cut off. Man exists and continues to exist without the woman. He [man] is still man, fulfilled in Messiah. He has no need of the woman. BUT, ‘it is not good for the man to be alone.’
Paul makes a similar bold statement,
…[man] is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed, man was not created for woman’s sake, but the woman for the man’s sake.1 Corinthians 11:7b-9
Just as the Assembly is uncovered and unprotected apart from Messiah, so is the woman apart from man.
Another way to consider this is that the Assembly, as the ‘helpmeet’ of the Messiah, is to be His means of being fruitful and multiplying and help Him display His glory. Similarly, woman, created as a helpmeet to man, is to be his helper as he displays the glory of God by obeying the Messiah and being fruitful and having dominion.
The very clear and consistent message of Scripture, while not complicated, is challenging. If we pursue truth, we will be forced to confront and tear down the false pagan godesses of feminism and egalitarianism imported from ancient Juno, Hera, and Diana worship.
Those who love Truth and desire the restoration of kol Israel will seek the Father’s face and dig deeply into proper male/female roles. I recommend Authority, Headship, and Family Structure.