“Did Jesus Ever Mention Homosexuality?”
It’s often said that Jesus never mentioned same sex relationships. Some conclude that because Jesus never uttered the word “homosexuality” He does not condemn it and therefore, as His disciples, we should not condemn it either. So did Jesus ever mention homosexuality?
We have no record in the Bible of Jesus saying the word “homosexuality” but He certainly is not neutral concerning the issue. In fact, He had much to say on human sexuality in general. He taught His disciples to observe the very highest form of sexual integrity in their personal lives.
In fact, Jesus’ teaching on human sexuality is very clear and very challenging (cf. Mt. 5:27-32). And what He has said has very clear implications in regard to homosexuality. Jesus taught that any sexual behavior expressed outside the marriage relationship is sinful. Consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:18-19, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
Other versions of the Bible may use the phrase “sexual immorality” in place of “fornication.” Both words are translations of the Greek word ‘porneia,’ a word that encompasses all sexual behavior outside of the marriage relationship. Jesus simply reaffirmed what the Bible consistently teaches: Sex is a gift given to us by God to be expressed exclusively within the confines of the marriage relationship. God has created us with sexual desire that is not inherently sinful but can “defile” us and separate us from Him if expressed outside of the divine covenant of marriage.
Jesus, when asked about the issue of divorce, went onto define marriage as a commitment between one male and one female for life (Mt. 19:1-9). In defending His answer, Jesus appealed to God’s original intention for humanity in the book of Genesis. He quoted Genesis 1:27 and reminded his audience that “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” He then coupled that with Genesis 2:24, where we’re told, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” In other words, Jesus ties marriage to the fact that God has created us with distinct genders. Marriage is predicated on two people with distinct genders that are sexually different but complimentary.
For Jesus, marriage was designed to be exclusively between a man and a woman and any sexual expression outside of that context is sinful. Again, this is something the Bible consistently teaches. The Law, the prophets and the writers of the New Testament all condemn the practice of homosexuality. When we express our sexuality outside of marriage we are damaging our divinely stamped image, defiling our hearts and separating ourselves from God. But also we are missing out on the blessing of God’s original intention for our sexuality which can only be experienced when we submit to God’s covenant of marriage.
Although Jesus doesn’t use the word “homosexuality” in any of His teachings the conclusions we can draw about what He has said about sex and marriage are crystal clear. Any expression of sexual activity outside of God’s definition of marriage in Genesis 1-2 is sinful and morally wrong. That would include prostitution, adultery, fornication, and, of course, homosexuality.