Twisting the nose of Jesus

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I am neither an untrue man … nor a mere nose of wax to be twisted this way and that

Sir Walter Scott

True north in the confusion over human sexuality and marriage is what the Scriptures teach. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 19, affirming Genesis 1-2.

This is what Christians have always believed. Until recently. What changed? Western culture changed.

When I make this point, the response is sometimes, well it is more complicated than that. We have to balance what Jesus taught on marriage with what he taught about love.

So now we have loving Jesus versus Jesus the authority on marriage in the 1st century. In the 21st century, we prefer the loving Jesus. And we get to define the true nature of love.

These are attempts to create Jesus in our image. Jesus is Lord, his words are the words of the living God. For all time in all cultures.

Disciples are those who are learning to obey his teachings, not avoid them (Matthew 28: 18-20).

So the real Jesus has a problem with sexual sin in ALL its forms. It’s better to pluck out an eye than give yourself to sexual sin and find yourself in hell (Matthew 5:29). God will judge us if we give ourselves over to sexual sin. To be silent about this is not an act of love — unless Jesus got it wrong. But then you wouldn’t be his follower, obeying his teaching.

The real Jesus welcomed the woman who wept at his feet (Luke 7:36-50). He announced to a room of men who were judging her, “Her sins are many.” And her sins are forgiven. Her faith saved her from God’s judgment. She went home at peace with God.

Who is this man, who welcomes sinners and forgives them?

Jesus took sexual sin seriously, warned against it, and gave his life as a ransom for sinners (Mark 10:45). He died so we could be forgiven and know new life through the Holy Spirit. We are not alone in our sexual brokenness and sin. There is a Savior.

So don’t twist Jesus’ nose. He is the one hope we have of being rescued from our brokenness, our shame, and our sin — in all its forms.