I found it interesting that the great Christian theologian from Alexandria, Origen (c. 185-254) took this verse literally and castrated himself so that might better minister to young women. I understand that he regretted this later in life. It is also interesting that in the council of Nicea under Constantine in 325 AD , one of the things that was discussed and decided in depth, was the prohibition of self castration.
Let’s look at this teaching by Jesus on celibacy in context by looking at the Gospel of Matthew 19:11-12:
Matthew 19:11-12 (TNIV)
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others have been made eunuchs; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven are those who voluntarily remained totally abstinent, choosing not to marry because, in their particular situation, they could serve God better as single people. They did not literally castrate themselves. Jesus himself would be in this category, as was the apostle Paul. Jesus was not teaching that believers should avoid marriage because it is inconvenient or takes away freedom. That would be selfish. He was teaching that a good reason to remain single would be to use the time and freedom to serve God. (1)
So, what is Jesus saying about the kingdom of heaven?
Today’s CLUE: Some have been given the Spiritual gift of celibacy in order to serve God.
What do you think?