Revelations from the Word

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Esther, the Bride in submission

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, dreadfully tormented. And Jesus said to him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it. When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matthew 8:5-10).

What the Roman centurion said led Jesus to compare faith to submission to higher authorities. The apostle Paul wrote that to be filled with the Holy Spirit it was also necessary to be in submission to the spiritual authorities, "Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs… submitting [hupotasso] one to another in the fear of Christ" (Ephesians 5:18-21 Interlinear). The Greek verb hupotasso has a military connotation, which means to place oneself under the command of a leader, and a non-military one which describes a voluntary attitude of cooperating, assuming responsibilities, carrying an appointed task. Paul also compares the Church to a Bride, "The Church is submitted [hupostasso] to Christ as a wife to her husband" (Ephesians 5:24), knowing that Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22).

The book of Esther presents us with a wife who is submitted to her husband in order to allow God to accomplish His purposes towards His people. In this book, the king Assuerus is a type of Jesus, Esther, a type of the Bride, Mordechai, a type of the Holy Spirit and Haman, of Satan. Esther was chosen by the king for her grace (Esther 2:17) in order to be an example of a wife who honours her husband (Esther 1:20). Haman had prepared a plan to destroy the people to whom Esther and Mordechai belonged, the people of God. Mordechai was informed of this demonic plan and informed Queen Esther. She was then able to intervene with the king because she had his favour (Esther 5:2) and because God had caused her to gain royal status for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).

Then it is possible to see Esther as a symbol of the Bride of Christ who is submitted to her Husband, Jesus Christ. When a member of the Church exercises a ministry, the other members are in submission to him for he himself is in submission to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the one who activates the different ministries and spiritual gifts. That is why He informs the Church of God’s plans, but also of the evil purposes of Satan against Her. When the Church is fully submitted to Jesus Christ, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against Her (Matthew 16:18), and She can put into action the plans revealed by the Holy Spirit. When the Bride is submitted to God, she has the strength to resist the devil who will flee from Her (James 4:7). Isn’t it for the sake of accomplishing the whole of God’s plans that the Bride must be submitted to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?