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Ask the Pastor

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

23 May 2006

Da Vinci Code: Was Christ Married?

Q: Was Jesus ever married? The Bible says no, but The Da Vinci Code and some things I’ve seen recently on television suggest otherwise.

A: Although I wrote on this topic several months ago, the flurry of misinformation surrounding the film’s release has led several people to continue asking, so I’ll provide a brief response. The usual argument is that no rabbi of Jesus’ time would have been taken seriously without being married. Also, some question how Jesus could have been faithful to all of God’s Law if He didn’t marry and be “fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28)”

Bride of ChristRegarding marriage, God never set it as an absolute command. As I said previously, “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.”

Concerning the argument about His rabbinic credibility, there’s no evidence that all the rabbis of Jesus’ day had wives. Even if they did, why should we be surprised if Christ differed from them in this regard — after all, so much else about Him wasn’t like all the others. Remember that people said of Him, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! (Mark 1:27)”

Jesus also pointed to the resurrection, when people “neither marry nor are given in marriage. (Matthew 22:30)” He came to die and rise again, preparing the way for us also to enter eternal life. His own death would annul any earthly marriage; He was preparing for His eternal marriage with His beloved Bride, the Church — that is, the entire number of believers from Adam through the end of time (see Ephesians 5:22-32 and Revelation 21).

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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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.

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