In September 2012, Karen King at Harvad Divinity School showcased an ancient manuscript (from the second century A.D.) that mentions Jesus speaking about “my wife.” The manuscript does not prove anything about the real, historical Jesus (you can check out the story here), but its coverage in the media brings up an important element as we think about western culture. Jesus’ singleness is a difficult reality for us to grasp. According to Scripture, Jesus was without sin, and he never married. Therefore, Christians believe that he never had sex. In western culture, sex is deeply entrenched in how we find value as individuals. I remember a conversation with some of my non-Christian friends where it came up that I was a virgin (I was 27 at the time). One friend was completely taken aback. She could hardly believe it, asking multiple times to clarify.
Jesus was a virgin. This fact reveals a truth that we are too often unable to accept: Sex says nothing about your worth or value. Even as a virgin, Jesus was fully alive, utterly secure, completely fulfilled as a human being.
I remember one of the chapel speakers when I was at Ozark Christian College. He was a pastor probably in his 50s who had suddenly lost his wife and was left to raise his family by himself. He was now alone with sexual desires that he didn’t know how to face. His comfort was that his Lord (Jesus Christ) went without sex and was completely fulfilled and productive in his life and ministry. This is something that can be quite alien to those who don’t call Christ Lord.
I guess you could say: Jesus was fulfilled sexually…without having sex.
I’ll say it again: Even as a virgin, Jesus was fully alive, utterly secure, completely fulfilled as a human being.