Answer: Jesus did not speak about gay marriage. It was not something He would have received from the Old Testament scriptures. He saw the Scriptures as being the word of God. He knew them. He obeyed them, He patterned His life on them. He encouraged His followers to do the same. Those scriptures gave the meaning to the concept of marriage in the opening chapters of Genesis. In chapter 1 the writer gives the God-given nature of marriage in His creation, Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Though men and women were both made in the image of God they were different from each other. But in their coming together there would be the continuation of the species through reproduction. They each had a part to play in the process but it was complementary. God had planned it so.
In Genesis 2 there is the more detailed account of the creation of humans. When God formed woman from the first man Adam, Adam recognised the difference but saw that they were complementary to each other, Gen 2:23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The account continues with perhaps Moses as the writer used by God to make a statement about the nature of marriage. He wrote, Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. So marriage was the exclusive bond between a man and woman in a relationship that was deeply significant. A new family would come into being through this God-appointed relationship. This was God’s purpose.
This is important to realise as we look at how Jesus viewed marriage. On one occasion He was asked about marriage and divorce. It is interesting to note how Jesus answered His questioners. He went back to the beginning of human relationships. He asked His questioners, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female” Mat 19:4. Making two different sexes was God’s idea in creation. But it was necessary for the continuation of humans through physical encounter. Jesus continued His answer by saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”. Jesus took these verses from the Old Testament very seriously as He quoted them. He saw them as coming from God Himself. Marriage and subsequent family life was His Heavenly Father’s idea. He too held the Father’s view of marriage as seen in those Genesis passages.
That was emphasised even more when Jesus replied to their question, Mat 19:7 “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He replied that God had allowed that as a concession to human weakness due to their hardness of heart. But Jesus emphasised again that this was not God’s original intention, but from the beginning it was not so. Mat 19:9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Marriage in God’s purpose is one man united in love with one woman to the exclusion of all other people. Gay marriage is not, never has been , nor ever will be on God’s agenda for the humans He has created in His image.
Jesus’ attitude to the sins described in the Old Testament as “detestable” or “abominable” was the same as the Father’s, for He shared the Father’s view on human relationships and especially on the sanctity of marriage. There was no discord in the Godhead. As Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”
There are those today who argue that Jesus commanded us to love one another. Surely, they say, that means that we should accept one another regardless of our sexuality or sexual preferences. Surely if two people love one another, they say, then they should be permitted to be married to each other regardless of their sex. However what such people fail to appreciate is that there is a prior greater commandment that gives guidance and boundaries to obeying the lesser commandment. Jesus was once asked by a scribe, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Mar 12:28. Jesus replied, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If people are to obey the greatest commandment of loving God with all their being, then they have to accept and act on what God says about every aspect of His world. This includes human behaviour. If He has declared homosexual activity as detestable or abominable as He has in Leviticus 18 and 20, then it means His “lovers” have to have the same opinion as their Creator and God. To disobey this great commandment by entering into relationships forbidden by Him leaves one open to deception and to the powers of darkness. The same applies to any sin. If we deliberately do what God has forbidden, we place ourselves in spiritual jeopardy. His love is always there for those who seek it in Him. He can forgive sins of all kinds. But the sin that Jesus warned us about which He said could never be forgiven was the sin He called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”.
He spoke of that when He was being accused of being an agent of the devil as He went around bringing healing and deliverance to those who needed to be set free. God was working through Him but Jesus’ enemies saw God at work through Jesus’ ministry and called it “evil”. To deliberately keep on calling evil, “good”, and good, “evil” means that people have gone a long way down the track to never asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness for their rejection of God, for their rejection of His commandments and for their reversal of His values. If you never ask for forgiveness, you will never receive forgiveness. That’s why such people can never be forgiven. They close themselves off from the grace, love and mercy of God.
The sad news is that some people will miss out on being with God in heaven because of their failure to turn to Him in repentance. Paul describes such people in1Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, 10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. But Paul adds the comforting truth that God’s power can transform all of us if we realise we need to be changed. God had transformed the Corinthians to whom Paul was writing, 1Co 6:11 Some of you were like this; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Praise God that He can work in our lives to set us free from all the things that would prevent us loving Him with all that we are and have. Praise God that He can free us to live for Him, basking in His love. Praise God that we can please Him by living in the dynamic power of His Holy Spirit in the way He has eternally planned for us to live.
Blog No.078. Jim Holbeck. Posted On Monday 18th June 2012