Did Jesus heal the centurion’s gay lover?

Jun 7, 2016 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

At the end of May, Jeffrey John, Dean of St Alban’s, preached at Liverpool Cathedral on the healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7. You can listen to the sermon on the Cathedral’s Soundcloud stream. John is a consummate orator, and he begins with a story from his teenager years, when his vicar refers to the question of homosexuality of ‘that filthy business.’ In this way he builds a powerful, emotive case, that Jesus includes the excluded, and that if you oppose this you are unreasonable and prejudiced—and that gay people are amongst this excluded-now-included group. You might have rejected them (he comments at 14.33) ‘but these are the ones God wants, Jesus says, these are the ones I have come for, these are the ones to whom the kingdom belongs.’ The rhetorical move here, via the story in Luke 7, is that, far from the traditional reading of the NT where same-sex relations are rejected as incompatible with the kingdom, gay people don’t simply become acceptable in the kingdom; they become the archetypal members, in much the same way that Jesus holds children before the disciples as archetypes of kingdom membership. So rejecting this is not just a problem of rights; it is rejecting the central way that God pursues his kingdom purposes. It is about ‘doing what Jesus did’—which rather suggests it will not be acceptable to ‘agree to disagree’.

A key question in all this is whether the text in question supports John’s position. John cites the ‘sober German scholar’ Gerd Theissen, who pointed out ‘long ago’ that the word entimos (‘highly prized’) used to describe the value of the servant to the centurion in Luke 7.2, would have been understood by any Jew to mean that the slave was the centurion’s gay lover. There are a number of issues here.

Read here

Read also a rough transcript of Bishop Paul Bayes’ sermon mentioned in the last paragraph of Ian Paul’s piece: PaulBayesSermon19.06.2015

Related Posts


Share This