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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






10 September 2005

Was Jesus Married?


Q: I saw a show on TV, during which they spent a significant amount of time suggesting that Jesus may have been married. A couple of their arguments are that we know little of his life until his ministry began at age 30 and Jewish custom would have made it extremely likely that he was married and also that there is nothing indicating that he was not married. I have also heard the argument that God commands us to be married. The last one strikes me the most. He was baptized yet had no sin, so shouldn’t we expect he was obedient to all of Gods commands? What are your thoughts?

A: This idle (and patently false) speculation also forms much of the story line for the novel The Da Vinci Code, a work that all too many people have taken as a factual narrative. In the book and, we must presume, the upcoming movie, Jesus marries Mary Magdalene.

Regarding the show you saw, an argument from silence on such an important topic isn’t persuasive. If we grant that Paul was a faithful apostle, then what about his urging those who could remain single to do so and to serve the Lord more completely?

God doesn’t command all to marry. He instituted marriage. He blesses marriage. He provides marriage for all who desire familial companionship, sex, and children. However, Jesus transcends these things. Earthly marriage is, in large part, for procreation. Jesus didn’t come to earth to have children. Instead, He came to make children for His Father.

He also didn’t come to get married, since in the resurrection, there is, as He said, neither marriage nor giving in marriage. Death annuls a marriage. He didn’t come to get married because His focus was not on life with one person but life for many.

Yet He did come to court and to win a bride. This bride is the Church, also called the new Jerusalem. You get a wonderful picture of this in Ephesians 5, as well as in several parts of Revelation, especially the final chapters. All who believe in Him make up the bride, and we will join in the completion of this marriage in the resurrection.

So to give a short answer to your question, Jesus was not married. However, He is betrothed.

Addendum: Because of a persistent (and patently false) rumor that Martin Luther believed that Mary Magdalene and our Lord were married, I recommend reading Luther, Jesus, and Mary Magdalene.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kane said...

No, Jesus was not married. But was he meant to married? Was Jesus Meant to Marry?

07 March, 2011 11:52  
Anonymous Jesus is good said...

I don't think so but all we know is that he was a sweethearted person who gave his life up for us and any women at that time(I believe) desired him or wanted to marry him..he is such a good person,why would anyone hate him?

04 December, 2011 15:47  

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