Didn’t Jesus say some are born homosexual?

Published April 24, 2012 by Tjchase

Didn’t Jesus agreed that some were born homosexual. You can see his thoughts on the matter if you read Matthew 19:10-12. If you know the history of the words saris oreunouchos you would know this.

After explaining to his audience that marriage was a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6) and that it could not be easily ended (Matthew 19:9), “His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it” (Matthew 19:10-12).

In classical Greek, eunouchos (translated “eunuch”) referred to men who were placed in charge of women. The position normally required that the man be castrated so that he could not have sexual relations with his master’s women. The same word was also used for castrated animals. When the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was done. eunouchos was used to translate the Hebrew word saris. This word referred to a court officials or eunuchs. In ancient culture this was often one and the same. A eunuch provided little threat to the ruling family because they were physically unable to establish their own dynasty, nor could one of the queens find herself having a son of a servant.

Eunuchs were not allowed to serve as priests for Israel, since they were not whole. “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, ‘or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the LORD. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God’” (Leviticus 21:17-21).

Nor were eunuchs allowed to enter the congregation of Israel. “He who is emasculated by crushing or mutilation shall not enter the assembly of the LORD. One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD forever” (Deuteronomy 23:1-3). It is debated what is meant by entering the congregation. Some popular ideas are:

  • These people are forbidden from worshipping with the rest of the Israelites.
  • These people are not allowed to hold office in Israel.
  • These people are not allowed to marry into the Israelite community.

The last makes the most sense because Nehemiah 13:1-3 mentions: “On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing. So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.

The later understand also matches Jesus’ reference to eunuchs. The topic under discussion was marriage and the sins that might result from an improper marriage. The disciples’ reaction to the statement that a marriage could only be ended before death by a divorce for the cause of fornication was one of shock. They went to the extreme and declared that if this was true, then people should forget about marriage (i.e. remain celibate their whole life).

Jesus said that three kinds people would remain celibate:

  1. Natural born eunuchs: Birth defects occurred even in these ancient days. Even today, 1.5% of the men in the United States are born with undescended testicles. Fortunately, modern surgery enables these men to live a normal life by moving the testicles to their proper position. But without such surgery in Jesus’ day, these men would be eunuchs.
  2. Made eunuchs by men : Accidents do happen and a crushed or amputated testicle is not repairable. Yet it remained a practice in these ancient days to castrate men either for job position or in punishment for some crimes.
  3. Chose to be eunuchs: Here we are not referring to men physically castrating themselves, but those who chose to live like a eunuch (i.e. without marriage or celibate).

Marriage was forbidden and not practical anyway for men in the first two categories, but Jesus said that some would chose the celibate life for the sake of the being in the church. Such would arise from people who have made a mess of their early marriages that leave them in a position where they cannot remarry without committing adultery. Such people would value Christianity more than living a life of sin for personal satisfaction. In addition, there are some so involved in the kingdom that marriage would interfere with their work, such as the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 7:8).

No where is there even a hint homosexuality in Matthew 19. Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. “And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate”” (Matthew 19:4-6). Sexual relations outside of marriage is condemned (fornication and adultery). The discussion about eunuchs is about foregoing marriage. Since sex is only allowed within marriage (Hebrews 13:4), Jesus is not saying that some people are natural born homosexuals, he is talking about men who are unable to have sex or chose to forego sexual relations by not marrying.


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