For a myriad of complicated reasons, #ThingsJesusNeverSaid trended for most of the day yesterday on Twitter. While the majority of the tweets were nothing but less-than-graceful, shoe-horned venting, some meaningful and relevant opinions emerged. After @ioLanche cataloged over 10,000 tweets, we present the top three misconceptions from yesterday’s discussion.
1. Jesus Never Said Homosexuality is a Sin
While Jesus never literally uttered those words, there’s plenty of evidence to show He didn’t condone homosexuality. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus clarifies that He didn’t come to abolish the Jewish Law, but rather to fulfill it. Traditional Jewish Law explicitly prohibits homosexual acts (Leviticus 18:22), which is also affirmed after Jesus’ resurrection in the New Testament (Romans 1:26-27).
Homosexuality separates us from God just as much as any other sin. Fortunately, by fulfilling the Law, Jesus fulfills God’s requirement of perfection and reconciles us back to God. God established these boundaries because He loves us, and even though we all fall short of His standards, He’s still given us hope.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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
2. Jesus Never Said He Was God
Once again, while a Bible search for the words “Jesus is God” won’t yield any results, Jesus did get about as close as possible to using those literal words.
In John 10:30, Jesus says “I and the Father are One.” It’s also important to remember that the reason Jewish leadership attempted to stone and ultimately executed Jesus was due to His claims of divinity (John 10:36; Matthew 27:41-44).
3. Jesus Never Said Anything Because He Didn’t Exist
Assuming the obvious historical evidence for Jesus in the Bible doesn’t apply, there are several extra-biblical accounts of Jesus. Perhaps most credibly from Roman historian Tacitus’ writings, Annals (XV.44), in which he affirms Biblical details concerning Jesus’ impact in Rome and Judea, as well as His execution under Pontius Pilate. The Jewish historian Josephous also records the controversy Jesus caused in his record Jewish Antiquities (XX.9.1).
Plus it helps that the entirety of the world’s calendar system is completely reliant upon Christ’s existence. I’m guessing it’s at least a reasonable assumption that the most important figure in human history actually existed.
Perhaps we should follow Franklin Graham’s advice and spend our time this Easter actually investigating what Jesus did say, because apparently He’s pretty trendy.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 2, 2015