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3816 : Understanding Roman Sexuality and Jesus' Response

WARNING: The following content is graphic, in order to intricately expound on a passage in the bible.

DISCLAIMER: The strongest language used is extracted from the Strongs Concordance.


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I have one more verse to reveal from Leviticus which a few of you are waiting to see, but before I venture into the depths of the exegesis and contexts of that 2nd verse, I want to visit Jesus.  After all it is important to note that I am not Jewish and neither are any of my fellow academics at college.  This means we do not follow the Old Testament laws. (Or at least I'm trying to make the point that they don't apply to us).

Hands up if you like pork chops, shell fish, or holding your girlfriends hand regardless of whether she is menstruating or not? (Sorry that last one was obviously not directed at all of the wonderful gay men I know, it was just an illustration of one of the laws we don't follow anymore).  I know my fiance holds my hand when I'm menstruating, we would think it was weird if he didn't.  That's the time of the month that women need most of our affection...

My atheist readers need to understand something really important about Jesus, whether you believe he was both human and divine is not relevant at this point.  You can't ignore that he did raise important political and spiritual points as well as show an incredible love for the unloved that no one can match.  Today's equivalent would be someone like Russell Brand but without all the money. Jesus was humble and poor.  Russell Brand shakes up the establishment, upsets politicians, shows love and mercy to bigots and advocates love, acceptance and peace whenever he gets the opportunity.  Jesus was like this and more.  He completely freaked out the Pharisees, so much in fact that they ended up killing him.  Everything he spoke about returned to the starting point, love.

What Jesus thought of homosexuality...

In Mathew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 Jesus is asked by a Centurion to heal his servant.  I put the word servant in italics, because the word used in both instances is a description for a male servant/slave, who is most commonly known as a young male who is beaten and anally penetrated, (both for pleasure).  So it is a child that is purchased for sexual gratification and in this case for relationship as well. (Definition from Strongs Concordance).

Here is the passage from Lukes gospel: (From the New International Version of the Bible).

When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

1) Centurions are highly ranked officers, they take care of at least 100 men in the Roman army.  He is highly regarded in his town because the Jews are speaking for him to Jesus and they respect him because they are speaking highly of him to Jesus.

2) The Centurion is humble, even though he knows how high up in society he is, he still bows down to Jesus (a shabby looking carpenter), who he knows has the power to heal his servant.

2a) The Centurion is so concerned for this particular servant.  If the servant means nothing, why would you implore Jesus to heal them?  The passage implies that the Centurion has great affection for his servant, otherwise he would just buy another one.

3) Jesus shows amazement at the Centurions faith and immediately heals the Centurions servant.

(The thing that Jesus is highlighting the most in this story is the Centurions faith.  Jesus compares him to others and no one matches how much faith this Centurion has. )

4)  The word used in both verses to describe the servant is pais (the definition is in the Strongs concordance and the number is 3816).  See above for explanation.  That means that Jesus is well aware of the status of the servant and if the Centurion didn't love his servant on top of what purpose he serves, he wouldn't be so concerned about getting him healed.  Jesus isn't emphasizing their relationship, Jesus is more interested in the Centurions concept of God, which in this case is total belief and submission.

Jesus DIDN'T say, "That's disgusting and against God, get away from me, you are going to hell!"  This is worth noting because Jesus does say this to many others, but not to the Centurion.

The historical context of the passage:

Roman men (of course there are always exceptions) were expected to have young male servants that they used for sex (although the Roman citizen was expected to be the giver and not the receiver), and in many cases formed relationships with these young men/boys.  Some of the Caesars got married to their boys when their wives died, it was usually a private thing.  Eventually same-sex marriage got outlawed, (obviously).

Roman soldiers were actually expected to own and use male slaves as prostitutes, they could be spoils of war or ones purchased at market.

Here is a link with more detail.  Please be warned the content is very detailed and graphic.  http://www.heritagedaily.com/2012/05/roman-same-sex-slaves-and-lex-scantinia/

I hope this exercise has helped some people understand the nature of God a little more and know deep down in your hearts that God doesn't care who or how you love, so long as you are loving.

Take care.

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