I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday and the subject of this blog came up in our conversation. My friend mentioned that he would love to read a series that openly and honestly discusses biblical sexuality; I loved the idea. I don’t know if 21st-century Americans have a good grasp of what it means to be spiritual and sexual disciples of Christ (myself included). I suspect other nations without Puritanical roots have got a better handle on this subject than we do.
Without further ado I would like to begin the series with this question: Was Jesus Christ a virgin?
This question has merit beyond a blatant attempt to grab your attention because asking this question can help Christians come to understand their own sexuality. Have you noticed that we have no biblical model to follow in Christ when resisting sexual temptation? The Gospels give us great examples of Jesus resisting temptation in many other contexts, but not a sexual context. Sexual temptation, indeed understanding the nature and essence of our sexuality, is one of the greatest challenges that faces mankind…and Jesus is not recorded as facing this issue Himself! The silence of the Gospels on such an important topic practically shouts for our attention. Jesus is the One whom Christians seek to model themselves after, and yet there is no model of a sexual Jesus in Scripture. How can this be?
We know almost nothing about the life of Jesus between the ages of 12 and 30, and it is possible that he could have married in that time; the absence of a wife in the Gospels does not preclude her existence. So let us pretend for a moment that Jesus was married and was sexually active…what does that do to your image of Him? For me, Jesus becomes more human and more understanding of my own struggles with sexuality. If Jesus was sexual then I know He was tempted sexually during His time on earth but was able to resist that temptation. This Jesus is far more encouraging than a Jesus who was never tempted sexually. If we believe God did not step into the most troublesome aspect of our lives while He walked the earth as a man, it’s no wonder it is so difficult for us to invite Him into that same part of our lives today.
The idea that Jesus was sexual might also put to rest the idea of asexual holiness that seems to predominate Christian thinking. It’s as if we believe in the duality of human nature, that we are either sexual or spiritual beings, but never both. By even asking a question about the sexuality of Jesus we allow ourselves the opportunity to talk about spirituality and sexuality in the same healthy context. Without open dialogue regarding Christian sexuality, problems like pornography addiction in the church will only get worse.
What are your thoughts?