John 3:29

He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
1. This lesson from the holy Gospel shows us the excellency of our Lord Jesus Christ's divinity, and the humility of the man who earned the title of the Bridegroom's friend; that we may distinguish between the man who is man, and the Man who is God. For the Man who is God is our Lord Jesus Christ, God before all ages, Man in the age of our world: God of the Father, man of the Virgin, yet one and the same Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of God, God and man. But John, a man of distinguished grace, was sent before Him, a man enlightened by Him who is the Light. For of John it is said, He was not the Light, but that he should bear witness of the Light. He may himself be called a light indeed, and rightly so; but an enlightened, not an enlightening light. The light that enlightens, and that which is enlightened, are different things: for even our eyes are called lights (lumina), and yet when we open them in the dark, they do not see. But the light that enlightens is a light both from its...

Clement Of Rome

AD 99
That all the preparation for entrance to the marriage to which we are invited must be accomplished. He, then, who has been made ready to enter will say, "This my joy is fulfilled."

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
He that hath the bride, &c. "Jesus Christ by His Incarnation hath betrothed unto Himself the Church, which is the whole company of believing people; and God hath given her to Him as a bride to a bridegroom. Jesus therefore is the true husband of the Church, a husband which must be received, and loved, and worshipped in the highest degree by all who believe. What wonder then if all the people leave me and flock to Him? For I am not the bridegroom, but Christ"s, the Bridegroom"s, friend. Wherefore I greatly rejoice that I should be counted worthy of so great a ministry, that I should be the paranymph of the Bridegroom, and that I should convey the bride, that Isaiah , the faithful, to Him, that all may acknowledge, love, and reverence Him as the Messias, and look for all grace and glory from Him, as the Head and Prince of the whole Church." This is an allusion to paranymphs, who were the most intimate and familiar friends of the bridegroom, insomuch that, all others being excluded, they...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The discourse again took its rise from likeness to our affairs, but leads us to the knowledge of subtle thoughts. For types of things spiritual are those which endure the touch of the hand, and the grossness of corporeal examples introduceth oftentimes a most accurate proof of things spiritual. Christ then, says he, is the Bridegroom and ruler of the assembly, I the bidder to the supper and conducter of the bride, having as my chiefest joy and illustrious dignity, to be only enrolled among His friends, and to hear the Voice of Him That feasteth. I have therefore even now that that I long for, and my dearest wish is fulfilled. For not only did I preach that Christ would come, but Him already present have I seen, and His very Voice do I lay up in my ears. But ye, most wise disciples, seeing the human nature that is betrothed to Christ, going to Him, and beholding the nature which was cut off and a run-away from its love to Him attaining to spiritual union through holy Baptism, grieve not...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
He of whom you complain is the bridegroom, and I am the friend of the bridegroom, sent before to prepare his bride; that is, to collect for him a Church from all nations. (Alcuin.) The servants of the bridegroom do not rejoice in the same manner as his friends: I am his friend, and I rejoice with very great joy, because of the bridegroom's voice. He must increase, and I must decrease; by which words the great precursor demonstrates to the world, that not the least envy with regard to his divine Master rankles in his heart; but on the contrary, that he should be happy to see all his followers desert him, to run to Jesus Christ. (St. Chrysostom)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But how does he who said, 'whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose,' now call himself His 'friend'? It is not to exalt himself, nor boastingly, that he says this, but from desire to show that he too most forwards this, (i.e. the exaltation of Christ,) and that these things come to pass not against his will or to his grief, but that he desires and is eager for them, and that it was with a special view to them that all his actions had been performed; and this he has very wisely shown by the term friend. For on occasions like marriages, the servants of the bridegroom are not so glad and joyful as his friends. It was not from any desire to prove equality of honor, (away with the thought,) but only excess of pleasure, and moreover from condescension to their weakness that he calls himself friend. For his service he before declared by saying, I am sent before Him. On this account, and because they thought that he was vexed at what had taken place, he called himself the friend of th...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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