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What did Jesus Say about Homosexuality?

Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality or homosex.  Yet, it is highly unlikely that Jesus’ silence on the issue could be taken as acceptance of such sexual conduct.  Jesus did not shy away from expressing his disapproval of the conventions of his day.  Because the whole question about homosex was already settled in the Old Testament and as such accepted in the New Testament, Jesus would have accepted the univocal stance against homosexual conduct which was characteristic of the Judaism of Jesus’ day.  If Jesus wanted to differ from the ethics of his day and communicated affirmation of same-sex relationships or homosex he would have had to state it publicly in no uncertain terms, because as far as can be determined from the socio-historical situation in first-century Judaism, there were no dissenting voices on the matter.

It is very clear from Scripture that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples ever engaged in homoerotic behaviour with other males.  Although Jesus did not say anything explicitly about Homosex, implicit references exist.  He said, for it is from the human heart that evil intentions come:  sexual immoralities (porneia), adulteries, licentiousness, …. All these evil intentions come from within and defile a person (Mark 7: 21-23).  No first century Jew could have heard the word porneia and not have in mind the list of forbidden sexual offences in Leviticus 18 and 22 (incest, adultery, same-sex intercourse and bestiality).

A second instance of implicit reference to homosex is found in Jesus’ answer to the rich man who inquired about the requirements for eternal life. (Mark 10:17-22) Here Jesus starts in His discussion with a young man reciting portions of the Ten Commandments including the prohibition of adultery.  This prohibition in the 7th Commandment is an all embracing special law, according to Philo, against incest, pederasty, bestiality, prostitution and other sexual intercourse matters.  It is probable that in Jesus reference to the 7th Commandment against adultery, there was an implicit rejection of homosex.

The third instance of implicit reference to homosex, we find in Mark 10: 1-12.  Here Jesus appeals to both Genesis 1:27 (God made them male and female) and Genesis 2:24 (for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and will be joined with his wife and the two will become one flesh.)  This suggests that Jesus accepted the model for marriage and sexuality and sexual union presented in Genesis 1-2.  Jesus understood that marriage was ordained by God from the beginning of creation as the union of a man with a woman, not of a man and a man, or a female and a female (Mark 10:6).

From only these three instances we can deduce that Jesus did not make any provision for same sex relationships.  Although He did not say anything, he did not change any proscriptions of Scripture with regard to homosex.  Thus it can be concluded that Jesus did not approve of homosexual relationships or more specifically, same sex marriage.