Get married or be a eunuch?

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A Dallas area Christian counselor seems to have read something really controversial in the passage of the Bible in Matthew 19 where Jesus talks about eunuchs and the kingdom of God.

Dr. Steven B. DavidSon founder of Christ Based Counseling believes that Jesus told his disciples that many people would not be able to receive his “hard saying” on eunuchs, he was revealing a major change in what marriage and sexuality was all about in relation to the kingdom of God.

Concerning sexuality, DavidSon shares that the issue of sexuality is one of the major concerns Jesus addressed. “Jesus challenged the disciples concerning sexual abstinence. He did this by word and deed. Jesus is clear that humanity was designed for persons to have only one sexual mate. And His follow-up to the explanation concerning only having one mate is an unwavering mandate. He called for believers to marry one mate or function as eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heavens sake (Matthew 19:8-12). Again, this is undeniable. So, anyone with a view that it is acceptable to have more than one mate holds an antichrist position.” [ source ]

To be honest, in reviewing some of the ridiculous claims of the gay christian movement which postulate  that Jesus meant homosexuals were the eunuchs of the Bible, I find a level of agreement with Dr. DavidSon. Certainly, eunuchs were not homosexuals and Jesus was in no way advocating homosexuality as some sort of esoteric state of existence within God’s kingdom.  That’s completely out of the equation. But there is something “strange”  in Matthew 19 and deserves a second look. This is a HARD TEACHING and many will not be able to receive it. But does that make it any less true or applicable because some do not receive it?

10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”  11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Please note that Jesus was responding to a question of marriage from his disciples, not the pharisees. His first set of responses were to the pharisees (vss 3-8).

Single, and want to be like Jesus?

Here’s what I hear him saying in plain language:

1. If you choose not to marry (in the previous context he outlined) then he advises that you make your self  permanently sexually inactive for the Kingdom of God’s sake. Perhaps this was his situation. In that regard, singleness is not simply because one cannot find a mate, but that one decides they will not marry– -ever— so as to dedicate their lives to serving God.  Like a eunuch physically,  this is an irreversible decision.

2. He was describing 3 states of eunuch-dom with the final being the most important:

a. some are born that way meaning they genetically posess no capacity to have sex or reproduce children
b. some are made that way meaning they are physically altered (either by choice or necessity) so they cannot have sex or produce children
c. some have rejected marriage (with is procreative intent)  ONLY for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. This also means you have not been married in the past, neither are you the father or mother of a child. This may also include adoption.

Who exactly is Jesus referring to? And how many of those people are there?  I think the Apostle Paul was an example of #3. Still, I’m not convinced that Jesus was issuing an either/or ultimatum as Dr. DavidSon claims, but certainly Jesus took marriage and celibacy to a kingdom level many Christians may never understand or accept.

What do you think about Matthew 19:10-12? Or here’s an even bolder question: have you rejected marriage for the kingdom of heaven’s sake? Why did you do it?

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8 thoughts on “Get married or be a eunuch?

  1. These people are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. There are difficulties in all states of life whether you choose to be married or choose a celibate single life.

  2. I am uncertain whether or not Jesus was indeed making reference to people with same sex attration. The scripture does in my mind clearly have application to the issue. What HE said in Matthew is “profitable for doctrine”. It is how I have understood it and taught it for years. Thanks for the post.

  3. Elder Jimmy as I was looking again I see the saying is “only” to those whom it is given. I take that to mean that it is not intended for all singles saints. But there are those among us who should for the kingdom’s sake stay unmarried and sexually free to accomplish the mission God has given to them.

    @ SH…thanks I agree with you. It looks like it is a sacrifice, but one completely possible since its given by God.

  4. Jesus was replying to his disciples remark.

    “10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Jesus stated that there are some that chose to be eunuchs for the kingdom sake.

    “11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    No were do we find Jesus defining a eunuch as a homosexual. Maybe as a Nazarite vow.

  5. This may be a little long………………and I hope I don’t get too far off task, but…………………

    I live in Dallas, Tx. and as I was taking a friend home from work one evening, I saw a billboard with this scripture from Matthew 19 on it. I looked up the name of the “sect” that published it and of course, it was sponsoring and linking that scripture to Jesus agreeing with homosexuality; which is another distortion of God’s holy word.

    My understanding of what Jesus was saying wasn’t just limited to marriage (although that was the initial question and context). It’s not a “get married or become a eunuch” ultimatum.

    Explanation: Marriage is sensual (not the perverted type). And marriage isn’t the only “thing” that has sensuality or excitement or enjoyment or fulfillment (for lack of a better word right now). Bowling, Six Flags, Marriage, Vacationing, Sports, and I’m sure other good activities you can think of has fulfillment / excitement / enjoyment. A person can find enjoyment / fulfillment in other activities without being married.

    Jesus wasn’t referring to homosexuality. I think Jesus is referring to those people who just don’t care about what we call the “excited life”. Those people aren’t married, they don’t do a lot of “exciting” activities; but they are engaged in the will and work / service of God.

  6. Have bn and stil separated 4 the Lord as an eunuch, since my vow eight years ago, 27 year virgin on God’s grace. God meant it and its posible if u believe. There r challenges bt in his name, let there b Glory, 4 he conquers on girls behalf. In love with christ. Masabza

  7. I do not believe that Jesus meant Eunuchs were natural born gays in a sexual orientation sense. Also notice that in the scriptures before it states that marriage is between a husband and wife.

    So why than do gays think it is there right to marry if they believe they are natural born Eunuchs?

    A Eunuch is to me from the verse a non-sexual person who serves God directly instead of metaphorically thru marriage.

    The fact that some Eunuchs may have sought male sexual companionship is a choice issue but not anything ordained by Jesus from this scripture.

    it is also clear that in Leviticus, about a man lying down with man and the consequences. Therefore, I think that gay people are still just looking for any crack to push their own agenda.

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