By Tom Quiner
“What exactly did Jesus say about defining marriage as being between a man and a woman?”
This is a test question.
Most people know that Jesus didn’t specifically address the subject of same-sex marriage. But he revealed his thoughts about marriage when he received this test question from the pharisees, as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19:1-6:
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
“Have you you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”
And just so He left no doubt about what a marriage means, Jesus reiterated his point by saying:
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
The elements Jesus identified as constituting a marriage are “male” and a “female.”
There’s another element: They are joined together as “one flesh” in the conjugal act only possible between a male and a female. Jesus refers to the Genesis verse (1:27) that:
“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them … be fertile and multiply.”
In other words, the essence of marriage as explained by Jesus is the union of a man and a woman, not a woman and woman; not a man and a man.
In fact, Jesus indicated not everyone is cut out for marriage for various reasons in Matthew 19:12:
“Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”
Pope Paul VI expressed it so beautifully:
“By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.”
The late pontiff eloquently builds on his thesis:
Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.
So what is the definition of marriage according to Jesus? A union between a man and a woman.