For the Sake of the Kingdom of Heaven

forthesakeofthekingdom

Never did he marry. He died alone. He never had a helper, a mate, a lover, a partner. He bought no engagement ring, had no wedding, had no home with a wife. Every night he went to sleep, he went to sleep alone. Every morning he woke from rest, he awoke alone. He did not even have a hope of growing old with a beloved, for there was no beloved.

Never did he marry. He died alone.

The blessings of oneness, in mind, heart, and body, with a woman were foreign to him. The delights of learning and teaching the Word of God to a wife were not his. He did not know the sweetness of holding hands during worship service. He did not know the beauty of a wife's soprano voice next to his side. Never did a struggling couple ask for his "story" for encouragement. Never did a young man ask him for experiential wisdom on how to woo a woman.

Never did he marry. He died alone.

Never did he wake up to the sound of his wife's soft breathing. Never did he give nor receive a tender kiss of thanks. Never did he feel the joy of marital bliss. He did not know the softness of a wife leaning on her husband's chest to whisper, "I love you." He did not know the secret thoughts and secret passions of a married man. All of physical intimacy — all of it — was not his to claim.

Never did he marry. He died alone.

Every child he held and hugged and blessed was not his own. Every babe he cradled reminded him he had no hope of having his own. Never could he say, "Son, I love you." Never could he say, "Daughter, I love you." He had no dreams of what his children might become because he had no children. Never did he come home to children crying, "Daddy! Daddy!" He had no family playtime, no family outings, no family memories, because he had no family of his own.

Never did he marry. He died alone.

When there was trial, pain, or difficulty, he bore the burden himself. When there was anguish, tears, and suffering, there was no wife to turn to for comfort. He had no human to act as his rock in the midst of trial. He had no partner to remind him of the promises and goodness of God amidst trial. He lived his life without a wife, without children, without a home — alone.

Never did he marry. He labored for God alone.

In all this, he did not grow bitter against his Heavenly Father. He trusted in God's promises, and understood that having a wife was not one of them. Oh yes, he upheld the sanctity, the beauty, the worthiness of marriage, and taught authoritatively on the glorious institution from the Scriptures, yet he knew marriage not. He believed, and accepted, that to know marriage himself was not within divine providence. It was not his Father's will, and he prayed, "Not my will, but Thy will be done."

Never did he marry.  His name is Jesus Christ.

He was singularly focused on pleasing His Father, about how He may be holy both in body and spirit. He was never one with a wife; He was One with His Father. He never knew marriage experientially; He invented it. He never had a home with a family; instead, He has a heavenly home with the Church. Never, ever, was He alone; He had unbroken, perfect fellowship with the Father.

And He had no regrets. He lived life to the fullest.

He never gave a ring to a woman; He gave His Spirit to the Church. He never had an earthly wedding; instead, He awaits the glorious wedding feast in heaven above. He never worshipped alongside a wife; He'll receive worship for eternity. He never knew marital intimacy; He knew divine intimacy. He never wondered if God had "the one" for him. The Father had been clear; there was none. His mission was to come and die.

And He had no regrets. He lived life to the fullest.

He never had physical children, but He knit together every single human being conceived. He said, "I love you!" not to a select few descendants, but to every elect sinner. He never had a child; but He is the Eldest Brother of millions of spiritual children. He was never welcomed home by a child; instead, His Father said to Him, "Well done, my good and faithful Son." No child ever said to him, "Daddy!" He receives instead countless pleas of "My Lord and my God!"

And He had no regrets. He lived life to the fullest.

In agonizing grief, in overwhelming sorrow, in heart-breaking pity, He wept and prayed and ministered. No human could comfort Him; instead the Father loved Him, and showed Him all that He was doing. He knew no comfort save for the promises of His God, and He strengthened Himself in God. He endured the cross, despised the shame, drank the wrath of God, suffered the most horrific loneliness, separation from the Father, died alone, for joy. For joy! Joy of fulfilling the Father's command, joy of the reward to be obtained, joy of the salvation to be accomplished, joy of the throne He would inherit, joy of the millions upon millions that would be saved by His sacrifice.

And He had no regrets. Never was Jesus Christ married. And yet, he lived the perfect life, the most fulfilling life, that has ever been lived — with the most joy, the most pleasure, the most blessing — the most fulfilling that ever could be lived. Compared to His gain, He sacrificed nothing.

This is our Savior. Child of God, more than anything else, our Father cares that we be like His Son — in holiness, in purpose, in focus, in humility, in service, in love. Should not our desires align with His?

"This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord" (1 Cor 7:35). I am not putting down marriage, nor the desire for marriage. But, Christ is all-sufficient. While marriage is good and God-honoring, Christ-likeness transcends marriage (and singleness).

Christ is the Husband of the Church, the only Savior of the World, the Preeminent One who made Himself a eunuch for sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He never married. We ought to glory in this, and share in His singular, undistracted devotion to God.