Matthew 19:12 "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth..."


"For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made so 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 19:12).


I think this is actually talking about homosexuals. I have researched the word eunuch and the research seems to support my supposition.


That's an accurate, if somewhat limited, understanding of the point Jesus is making. He is speaking here of those who do not conform to the normal expectations of the society in which they live. In Jesus’ time, Jews regarded marriage and procreation as both a practical necessity, to ensure the continued strength of the nation, and a religious obligation. “Eunuchs,” literally, were castrated males who could not procreate; they were considered abhorrent by Jewish society. Here Jesus is clearly expanding the term to metaphysically define those who do not marry or procreate because they have been physically castrated ("have been made eunuchs by others"), because it is contrary to their very nature ("have been so from birth"), or because it is a choice they make themselves ("have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom"). That doesn't mean they physically castrated themselves; it means they have chosen to live celibate lives. 

Having just described the challenges of marriage (Mt. 19:3-9), Jesus makes the point that traditional, procreative marriage is not for everyone, and that other ways of living one's life may have important spiritual validity. This is true for those who choose celibacy—and the church, of course, has recognized that implication for centuries. I wholeheartedly agree that it is also true for homosexuals—and the traditional church, of course, continues to strongly disagree. 

Jesus clearly knows it's a dicey topic that not all his followers will be immediately able to embrace. "Let anyone accept this who can," he says. It's a little overwhelming to think of how much anguish, anger, blame and other intense negative energies could be dissolved on this planet if people were, indeed, willing to accept Jesus' loving guidance that we are all unique expressions of the Christ, and that the only conformity that matters is the one by which we conform our human lives to our spiritual truth.


Rev. Ed