The Matchless Mystery
“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."—Ephesians v. 30
I DO not hesitate to say that this is one of the most wonderful texts in the whole compass of revelation. It sets forth the mystery of mysteries, the very pith and marrow of the loftiest divinity. It is fitted rather to be the theme for a hundred elaborate discourses than for one brief homily. Most assuredly it is a deep that knows no sounding, an abyss where thought plunges into never-ending contemplations. He who handles it had need, first of all, to be filled with all the fulness of God. Hence we feel incapable of dealing with it as it should be dealt with; it is all too great and vast for us, we can no more hope to compass it than a child can hold an ocean in his hand. Beloved, it is a text that must not be looked upon with the eyes of cold, theological orthodoxy, which might make us content to say, “Yes, that is a great and important truth,” and there leave it. It is a text to be treated as the manna was that fell from heaven; namely, to be tasted, to be eaten, to be digested, and to be lived upon from day to day. It is a text for the quietude of your meditation, when you can sit still and turn it over, and, like Mary, ponder it in your hearts. Long and loving should be your gaze upon the facets of this diamond of truth, this Koh-i-noor of revelation. It is a golden sentence fitted for those choice hours when the King brings us into his banqueting house, and his banner over us is love; when the distance between earth and heaven has become less and less, till it scarce exists those halcyon times when all is rest round about us, because he who is our rest enables us to lean upon his bosom and to feel his heart of love beating true to us.
I ask you, O my brethren, therefore, as though you were quite alone in your own chamber, to pray for that frame of mind which is suitable to the subject, and to pray for me that I may be placed in that condition of heart which shall best enable me to speak upon it. We need our thoughts to be focused before they can reveal to us the great sight before us. Get to the place where Mary sat at Jesus' feet, and then will this text sound like music in your ears. Without any accompaniment of exposition from me, it will have all heaven’s music in it: “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Sevenfold will be the happiness of the spirit which knows how to sit down and to taste of the marrow and the fatness, to drink of the “wine on the lees well refined,” which are to be found in this inspired declaration.