Would Jesus okay same sex marriage?

by Matt Slick

No, Jesus would not approve of same sex marriage. He taught about marriage being between a man and a woman, never anything else. You just can't read into his words a pro-homosexual interpretation. Homosexuality was known to him, particularly since it's clearly condemned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).

  • Matthew 19:4-6, "And He answered and said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,' 5 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’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.'”  --  This is a reference to Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24
  • Matthew 19:9, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
  • Mark 10:11-12, "And He said to them, 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.'”

Notice that in Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus cites the created order of Adam and Eve, male and female, which was referenced in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24. He then says "what therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." He was speaking about marriage, and very clearly his belief was that it was to be between a man and a woman.

When people try and make Jesus support homosexuality, they are advocating liberal ideology and forcing it into Scripture in order to suit their agenda. All kinds of people want Jesus to approve of their sin, and they very often twist Scripture to accomplish it. Take, for example, the article of the same title "Would Jesus OK same-sex marriage?" posted on the cnn.com website.1

  • "But it's important to see these words of Jesus about divorce in context, too, especially in the context of gays. In fact, Jesus went on to comment on his own teaching when questioned further: "Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can." (Matthew 19:11-12)...So a eunuch was, in some instances, a gay man. If I read correctly what Jesus says about eunuchs who "who have been so from birth," he may well refer to this sort of person. Certainly, there has been a lot of discussion of this topic among gay Christians. I myself believe that God has a loving eye for all of his creation and judges harshly only those who choose to judge -- and condemn -- others."

As is typical with liberal thinking, sentiment takes precedence over exegesis. The article references Matthew 19:4-6 but subsumes his words under a possible definition of a single word that is used later; namely, eunuch, which is then interpreted to mean homosexual.

  • "So what is a eunuch? In Greek, the word is eunochos, and it occurs eight times in the Greek scriptures. The word usually refers to castrated men, but it has many meanings, and one of them is "an ineffectual, powerless, or unmasculine man. One recalls that Alexander the Great, in fact, had a male lover called Bagaos, who was described as a eunuch."2

However, saying the eunuchs were homosexuals, by appealing outside of the Bible, risks the error of reading into the Bible what is not there. The pattern in Scripture is never that eunuchs are homosexuals.

  • "In the NT the word eunouchos is used, and may be derived from eunēn echō (‘to keep the bed’). Like its counterpart sārîs, it need not denote strictly a castrate. In Acts 8:27 both meanings may be intended; in Mt. 19:12 the meaning ‘castrate’ is beyond doubt. In this last passage three classes of eunuch are mentioned, namely, born eunuchs, man-made eunuchs and spiritual eunuchs. The last class includes all those who sacrificed legitimate, natural desires for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Report in the early church had it that Origen, misinterpreting in a literal sense the above passage, mutilated himself."3
  • "Jesus mentioned three classes of eunuchs (Mt 19:12), including those who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom. This is generally understood in a metaphorical sense of voluntarily forgoing marriage in order to serve the kingdom (e.g., John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostle Paul)."4
  • "A eunuch for the sake 'of the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 19:12 HCSB) is likely a metaphor for one choosing single life in order to be more useful in kingdom work (cp. 1 Cor. 7:32–34)."5

Jesus the creator

It is not always accepted, especially among liberal commentators, that according to Scripture Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9) and that he is also the creator. 

  • "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
  • "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him," (Colossians 1:16).

This is significant since it means he was involved in creating man and woman, not man and man, not woman and woman. God instituted marriage in the garden, and it was not until after sin entered the world that homosexuality became a reality. Jesus appealed to the created order in Matthew 19:4-6. Therefore, Jesus would never approve of homosexuality and same sex marriages.

  • 1. cnn.com/2014/10/03/opinion/parini-would-jesus-be-ok-with-gay-marriage/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
  • 2. .ibid
  • 3. Wood, D. R. W., and I. Howard Marshall. New Bible Dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996.
  • 4. Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible Dictionary. Tyndale Reference Library. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001.
  • 5. Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, Archie England, Steve Bond, E. Ray Clendenen, Trent C. Butler, and Bill Latta, eds. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.