Question: “If homosexuality is a sin, why didn’t Jesus ever mention it?”
Answer: Many who support same-sex marriage and gay rights argue that, since Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, He did not consider it to be sinful. After all, the argument goes, if homosexuality is bad, why did Jesus treat it as a non-issue?
It is technically true that Jesus did not specifically address homosexuality in the Gospel accounts; however, He did speak clearly about sexuality in general. Concerning marriage, Jesus stated, “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh[.]’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4–6). Here Jesus clearly referred to Adam and Eve and affirmed God’s intended design for marriage and sexuality.
For those who follow Jesus, sexual practices are limited. Rather than take a permissive view of sexual immorality and divorce, Jesus affirmed that people are either to be single and celibate or married and faithful to one spouse of the opposite gender. Jesus considered any other expression of sexuality sinful. This would include same-sex activity.
Also, are we to believe that any and every action is good unless Jesus specifically forbade it? The goal of the Gospels was not to give us a comprehensive list of sinful activities, and there are many obvious sins that are not found in the “red letter” section of the Bible. Kidnapping, for example. Jesus never specifically said that kidnapping was a sin, yet we know that stealing children is wrong. The point is that Jesus did not need to itemize sin, especially when the further revelation contained in the Epistles removes all doubt as to homosexuality’s sinfulness.
Scripture is clear that believers are to have nothing to do with sexual immorality: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Sexual immorality, whether same-sex activity or otherwise, is a sin against a person’s own body.
It is important to note that sexual immorality, including same-sex activity, is listed alongside other sins in Scripture, indicating that God does not rank one sin as worse than another. While the consequences of some sins are greater than others, Scripture often simply lists sins side by side. For example, Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19–20; see also Romans 1:24–31).
The Bible teaches that followers of Jesus are to practice sexual purity, and that includes abstaining from same-sex activity. In addition, unbelievers who practice homosexuality stand in need of salvation just like any other unbeliever. Christians are called to pray for those who do not know Christ, to serve others in love, and to share the message of Jesus with all people, including those involved in homosexuality.
Recommended Resources: 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley and Logos Bible Software.