Jesus and Sexual Controversy (LGBT 7)

According to the gospels, Jesus is the clearest revelation of God the world has ever seen (John 1:14-18; 14:9). If we want a picture of how God views homosexuality in general and LGBT people in particular, it would be extremely helpful Jesus offered a clear position on the matter. But a careful reading of the gospels shows that Jesus never said anything about any aspect of LGBTIQ. No question on this issue was ever raised in His presence and no pronouncement from Him on the topic is recorded in the gospel records.

But that does not mean that Jesus has nothing to say about sexuality. There is a very significant dialogue He has with the Pharisees regarding divorce (Matthew 19 and parallels), and Jesus says a number of things in this passage that are pertinent to our topic. I will quote the passage with some highlighting of my own and then offer some comments.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? (Gen 2:24) 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” (Deut 24:1-4) 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
Matthew 19:3-9

Gerald Winslow notes that in this passage and several others the Bible lays out an ideal and a real. The ideal is grounded in creation. Male and female are physically and emotionally designed to bond to each other in lifelong unity. Forsaking all others, they will find undistracted joy in each other’s company and in mutual sexual experience. They were designed over time to achieve ever-increasing intimacy and delight in each other. That is the ideal. But after the Fall (Genesis 3) there is also a “real.” Hearts get hard. Children are abused. Husbands and wives cheat on each other. Some people get sexually greedy and exploit many. Divorces happen. Hearts get broken. Also part of the real is that some people are attracted to the same sex. Others suffer from dysphoria between body and brain. Some have incomplete sexual organs or organs from both sexes. Back in the beginning, God laid out the ideal. And the ideal remains in place. But in reality, things often go awry. Jesus states the ideal, but He also recognizes the real. Because hearts are hard, the creation ideal is rarely if ever achieved fully on this earth.

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