Pearls of the Word

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The defender of the Body

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"For the husband has authority over the wife, just as Christ is the head of the Church, which is his body, and of which he is the Defender [Soter]" (Ephesians 5:23 Interlinear).

Since the Church, the Body of Christ, is made up of those who are saved (Acts 2:47), the Greek word soter has another meaning: saviour, liberator, defender, meaning he who assures safety (Ephesians 5:23 Jewish New Testament).

"In their distress, they cried out to God, and he delivered them from their anguish; he led them along the straight path to bring them to a habitable town" (Psalm 107:6-7). The "habitable town", surrounded by walls and guarded by a watchman, is a metaphor for the Church; although Jesus Christ, Himself, assures the protection of His Body, he also does it in practical terms, through the members who watch over each other, just as sentinels do.