In my last post, someone in the Comments asked, “If Jesus is the greatest prophet and Son of God, and if homosexuality was such a bar to eternal life, why didn’t Jesus address this?” I’ve heard this argument on numerous occasions and want to answer it.
First, Jesus addressed the homosexuality issue when he brought the standards of marriage and sexuality back to the Creation (Matthew 19:4, 5). At creation, Jesus claimed that God made “male and female,” and because of this creation of human kind, “a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.” By limiting the marriage relationship to men and women, Jesus is speaking against homosexual practice (and much of our common divorce and remarriage practices as well).
Second, the Greek word Jesus uses in Matthew 19:9 condemns homosexual practice. The word is porneia. The word refers to any “unlawful sexual intercourse.” This would include homosexuality. Thus, Jesus does deal with the issue of homosexuality by his usage of this word. He also condemns incest and bestiality. (By the way, if we use the logic found in our introductory question we would have to say these two are okay as well).
Third, it really doesn’t matter if the condemnation of homosexuality is in the red letter part of your Bible (red letters normally show quotations from Jesus). There are many things Jesus does not condemn directly. This does not mean they are acceptable. Instead, it simply means Jesus did not have the opportunity or the reason to speak on those subjects, or the writers of the Gospels, under the inspiration of the Spirit, determined to not include them in their gospels (see John 21:25).
Finally, those who claim only Paul condemned the practice, not Jesus, fail to see the work of the Spirit in the writings of Paul. Paul wrote by inspiration of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles by Jesus to “remind them of what they had heard” and to “lead them into all truth.” The Spirit continued the revelation of Jesus. Thus, what the apostles wrote are the words of Jesus. Therefore if any New Testament writing condemns homosexuality, then it is safe to say that Jesus condemned the practice.
If we believe that the Scriptures are all the words of God, then we will not continue the practice of pitting Jesus against later New Testament writers. All of the New Testament, not just the red parts, reveals to us the teachings of Jesus. Those who want to live under His Lordship will submit to all of it. Therefore, Jesus deals with the homosexuality issue, and states it is sin.