It finally dawned on me recently the full import of what our Lord meant when He said in Matthew 19:12: “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” Ah, I see it now… Jesus was talking about people like Himself.
Eunuchs were men who had been emasculated; unable to produce children of their own because they could not have sexual relations like other men. Although some males are born deformed, or else do not have the inclinations of other men, hence being “eunuchs” in a sense, most eunuchs were men of high standing in the courts of kings. They could obtain access to the king’s family members or his hareem. To prevent such men from the temptation to “corrupt” the royal seed line, they were operated on as a prevention. They sacrificed their ability to perform sexually or procreate to keep a job for which the compensation was doubtlessly lucrative in another way.
Jesus was including Himself in this group. He, too, had the ability and right to marry, to keep a wife, to enjoy a sexual life with her and to procreate. But He deferred on this, maintaining a life of total abstinence instead. And He did so “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” The word, “kingdom” also means “rule” or “authority.” So perhaps it was the Father’s will that He abstain. Or maybe it was because it was not expedient in God’s scheme of redemption for mankind. In any event, Jesus kept His virginity until the day He died, by choice, and not for any other reason.
This reinforces my firm belief that Jesus never asks us to do anything He would not do Himself. If God has commanded a thing not be done, divorcing and remarrying without God’s approval, or any perversion of marriage or sexual activity, Jesus has shown that we must do as He did: abstain out of respect for the rule of God’s sake. It is a choice that many will not accept, but those who can, like Him, must.
Understanding this concept and believing it would solve a lot of problems, the essence of which is simple: whatever violates a command of God, no matter how much it means to us, we should defer… just like Jesus did.