PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 19:10-12
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“Those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:12)
For some reason Jesus speaks of eunuchs, and not the unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:8).
What is more, he literally speaks of those who “make themselves eunuchs”.
Why would Jesus bring up such controversial topic as eunuchs at this point?
It could be misunderstood… for a time in the early church some did take Jesus literally.
A eunuch was a despised and ostracized person in Jesus’s day:
“A eunuch was neither man nor woman but something composite, hybrid, and monstrous, alien to human nature.” (Lucian)
Anyone who chose not to marry was suspected of being effeminate or worse, a eunuch.
I believe that Jesus is challenging the religious leaders to whom he is speaking.
He speaks up for the women they want to divorce, and for the eunuchs they want to exclude.
He identifies with the weak, instead of using the Law to oppress them.
Jesus identifies with and welcomes the outcasts, including the sexual outcasts.
Jesus could have just used the word ‘unmarried’, but he intentionally uses ‘eunuch’.
Do we identify with, include, allow into our fellowship the eunuchs of our day?
Lord, is there someone that you identify with and include today that I am ignoring or excluding? Help me to see and treat people like you did… and do!
Choices. We have to choose and those choices we make influence the life we live. Jesus said “… there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven…” But it takes dedication even in a marital relationship to keep our sensual desires under control. I’m thankful that I am married but even then I must think of my wife and her needs and protection. Providing for a family is an important part of serving Lord as is working for the Kingdom in my daily work whatever it is – I must be dedicated to it as well as the other. For sure I need to keep my sensual desires in check. Those who take a vow of celibacy have a challenge – so I’m not surprised that there is abuse. Even those who are unmarried (more common) or those who are really a eunuch, or as a married person – we all need to guard our passion and keep from temptation and especially sexual abuse (when we overpower someone else for our satisfaction).
Marriage is a gift from the Lord. Yet not all desire to be married. Whatever they choose they are all precious in His sight and therefor also for us. Even the apostle desired to be single so that he could serve His Lord. Service. That is the main thing whether married or single. We were created to serve the Lord and love Him and love our neighbour. That must be seen by our words and actions. All for the sake of being His instruments of peace in His Kingdom. Free to serve Him and accepting all those who serve Him.
1 Serve the Lord with gladness,
Wear a smiling face,
Leave a gleam of sunshine
In each dreary place.
Serve the Lord with gladness
Ev’rywhere you go,
Bring a bit of heaven
To the world below.
2 Set the joy-bells ringing
In some troubled life,
Keep the love-light beaming
‘Mid the toil and strife. [Chorus]
3 Serve the Lord with gladness
As you pass along,
Looking unto Jesus,
Life should be a song.