What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

Marriage cover photo

Courtesy Salt Shakers (Christian ministry)

By Spencer D Gear

Those who oppose a Christian view of homosexuality often come up with some interesting provocative resistance. Here is one I encountered on an online Christian forum:

There is no justification for a proscription against homosexuality as a “moral” law, although as a practical matter, it may have been forbidden as a violation of the stricture to “be fruitful and multiply”.

What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality?[1]

My response was:[2]

There was no need for Jesus to make a direct statement against homosexuality because He had established the boundaries of sexuality.  What He spoke clearly about was sexuality in general. Of marriage, Jesus stated, ‘At the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate’ (Matthew 19:4–6).

Jesus here cited from Genesis and the relationship of Adam and Eve and affirmed God’s design for marriage and sexuality. It was heterosexual and not homosexual as Genesis 2:24 states, ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (NIV).

Thus, Jesus did not make a direct statement such as, ‘Thou shalt not commit a homosexual act’, for Jesus to confirm he was against homosexuality. The affirmation in Matthew 19:4-6 was all that was needed to provide God’s parameters for sexual relationships.

Homosexual behaviour as sin

I wrote to Jim: You don’t seem to grasp that in the New Testament, Jesus’ words have no more authority than other NT Scripture (2 Tim 3:16). What Paul wrote about homosexuality is just as inspired (breathed out by God) as that by Jesus. Paul wrote:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[3] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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 (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV).

Paul is clear that homosexuality is among the sins that will cause a person not to inherit the kingdom of God. There are other sins that are included in this group.

Homosexuals can be changed

But the fantastic news is, ‘That is what some of you were‘ (1 Cor 6:11). Like the sins of sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling, homosexual sins can be forgiven. Thus, Paul places homosexual sin among sinful behaviour that can be forgiven and not as a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a secular, contemporary labelling. ‘Such were some of you’ is a clear indication that all these sins can be changed by the living God – including homosexuality.

Without faith in the buried and resurrected Christ of Golgotha, Jim and other sinful rebels are not likely to understand the biblical view on homosexuality. They need a heart change that involves, ‘that is what some of your were’ – an encounter with the living Christ – before their views of homosexuality will change. If that happens, hardening of the heart will continue.

What is a hard heart?

A hard heart is an obstinate and calloused heart that fails to respond to God or obey him. A hard heart is blind to the precious value of the gospel and refuses to embrace Christ (Rom. 11:8). Most precariously, a hard heart is synonymous with spiritual ignorance and alienation from God (Eph. 4:18) (Reinke 2014).

That’s what I encountered with Jim, the atheist.

Works consulted

Reinke, T 2014. You Asked: Does God Harden a Believer’s Heart? The Gospel Coalition (online), March 18. Available at: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/you-asked-does-god-harden-a-believers-heart (Accessed 21 November 2015).


[1] JimOdom#106, Christian Fellowship Forum, ‘Five things I wish Christians would admit about the Bible’. Available at: http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Christian_Fellowship_Forum/_/_/ws-fellowship/123829.106?scrollTo=os_message_106&nav=messages (Accessed 2 March 2015).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen#113.

[3] At this point in the NIV (New International Version), the footnote was: ‘1 Corinthians 6:9: The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts’.


Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 November 2015.