What did Jesus teach about homosexuality?

Romans 1:26-27 – For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

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Jesus was a rabbi—a teacher of the Old Testament. In His ancient Jewish context, homosexuality was universally seen as contrary to God’s design. Jesus unabashedly grounded right sexual practice in the created order of Genesis 1–2. 

Robert Gagnon, who has likely done more scholarly work than anyone on the Bible and homosexuality, summarizes the evidence:

“There is little historical doubt about Jesus’ view of homosexual practice. Although focused on the indissolubility of marriage, in Mark 10:5–9 he clearly presupposed that the presence of a ‘male and female’ was an important prerequisite of marriage (Gen. 1:27). Only a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’ are structurally capable of being ‘joined’ through a sexually intimate relationship into a one-flesh union (2:24)…For Jesus, then, the Creator ordained marriage—it was not just a social construct—as a lifelong union of one man and one woman. Both the Scriptures Jesus cited with approval and the audience addressed—indeed, the whole of early Judaism, so far as extant evidence indicates.” (1)

He also argues that if Jesus had wanted His disciples to think otherwise, He would have had to state such a view clearly. As it is, we know of no dissenting opinions on the issue in earliest Christianity.

  • Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 159–83.15. Robert A. J. Gagnon, “Sexuality,” in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, ed. Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 745.

How does Jesus’ teaching on the issue of homosexuality differ from the world’s teaching? Pray for God to help you stand firm with Christ and against culture on this issue.

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