‘Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality!’ Why Not?
“Jesus never mentioned homosexuality!” That often-heard statement is one of the quickest and most common excuses people give for approving homosexual practice.
Does it hold any weight biblically, though? And if it is true that Jesus never mentioned it, does that really justify such behavior?
The answer is “no” to both questions. Here’s why.
He Didn’t Need to Say It For It To Be True
- Jesus didn’t mention any number of sins. For example, He never mentioned child sexual abuse or wife beating. Does that mean He was okay with them?
- Jesus didn’t need to comment on such behavior. In first century Judaism, there was no debate about its sinfulness. He would have been preaching to the choir.
- The “Jesus never mentioned it” argument assumes that only the words of Jesus are divinely inspired. It’s a “biblical” argument that ignores the rest of the Bible. It also ignores Jesus’ own witness to the divine origin of Scripture (Mark 12:35-36).
- Most of what Jesus said wasn’t even recorded in the Bible (John 20:30; 21:25; Revelation 22:18-19).
- Homosexual practices were strongly condemned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). Jesus affirmed those prohibitions (Matthew 5:17-20).
- Many activists claim that Jesus didn’t use the word “homosexual” because He just didn’t realize it was holy, healthy, God-ordained and God-approved. But if so, why even bring Jesus into the conversation? This claim amounts to saying Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about when he spoke on moral matters. If that’s the case, then let’s all just quit listening to Him. Yet those who make this claim treat it as if Jesus were the only authority we should listen to. They’re not just contradicting Scripture, they’re contradicting themselves!
- The argument wrongly implies that the New Testament’s purpose was to re-state or to create a new list of forbidden practices, and that anything not on the list was approved by God.
The Teaching Is Still Scriptural
- Jesus re-affirmed all of the moral law (Matthew 5:17-20). He chided those who broke the commandments and taught others to do the same (Romans 1:32).Here it’s important to distinguish several kinds of Old Testament law. The Old Testament contained ritual (ceremonial), sacrificial, civil and moral law. Jesus affirmed all of it, though He brought the ritual and sacrificial laws to a close by fulfilling them.
The civil law was established to guide affairs of state for Israel and to mark out Israel as a separate and distinct nation. The moral law, however, reflects the very character of God. God will not change, so the moral law cannot change, either. It will continue throughout eternity.
- Homosexual behavior is thoroughly condemned every time it is mentioned, both in the Old Testament and the New (see Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Jude 1:7).
- Nowhere in Scripture or history — until the last century — has homosexuality been thought of as an inborn, natural and unchanging orientation. The Bible only speaks of behavior, not orientation.
- Finally, homosexual behavior does not fit the stated purpose of sexuality in the Bible. Uuman sexuality was always meant to be expressed solely in a one-man, one-woman marital covenant. (See Genesis 1:27; 2:23-24; 5:2; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:31). In fact, it was designed by God to prefigure the eternal covenant of marriage that is to take place between Jesus Christ (The Bridegroom) and His Church (The Bride).
So, does the possibility that Jesus never mentioned “homosexuality” in the Bible create an excuse for homosexual practice? In the very strong words of the Apostle Paul, “May it never be!” (Romans 3:4).
Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image and Love Hunger and is the founder/director of Pure Passion Media (www.PurePassion.us). Read more of his take on sexual sin and brokenness in his newest book, The Sexual Healing Reference Edition.