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Time for man talk, with woman in mind

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At the feet of Jesus.

If we are uncomfortable bringing Jesus into this round table about man-woman business, it may be because we don’t really know him well enough. Our lord and saviour Jesus Christ was not a eunuch; he had a penis, hormones and the programming that males have. He had a sex life and knew the things that we know though in a different cultural environment. So, when he engages us in conversation and instruction on sexual bonding, it is not just the Divine Word and sovereign passing down a commandment for human obedience. What we have also, is the Son of Man speaking from his human experience about this gift of relationships and intercourse that are a part of the abounding, cherishing, community creating, exciting-compulsive, loving and liberating life-experience in the Kingdom of God.

Let us note that when Jesus talked about ‘adultery’, or trans-border sex, he spoke to men. He knew, of course, that others had put women at the centre of that sin. Read this brief and direct man to man observation that Matthew records. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Do you think that Jesus Christ didn’t know the attractiveness of the female person, then you didn’t hear what he just said? It may become clearer if I use the words from the Jamaican New Testament, but you have to take your time with the creole spelling. V 28 “But ier wa ma a tel unu se, unu jos waahn luk pan wan uman we unu no marid tu an waahn ar badi, an a sliip unu don sliip wid ar aredi iina unu aat”. Especially today, when the female person dresses so transparently, or looks real ‘sexy’, then to admire the woman you ‘na marid tu, can lead to desire ‘ar badi’ at different levels. The Jesus Christ in Matthew sounds like a street smart teacher, doesn’t he? Yes, he knows our make-up, because he wears it.

BEYOND THE SEXUAL ACT WITH JESUS

But there is a lot more in this short statement than a stricture against diminishing a female person to her body, a sexual trinket, and following the link from admiration to hormones to penis to imagination and to a compelling desire to possess. Here are some of the other things that this man Jesus from Galilee, is passing around the table. Perhaps first though, there is something we should note in the mindset of Jesus from this chapter 5 of Matthew, as he grounds with us men. We hear him say that adultery is bigger than the actual act of sexual intercourse; it stretches into our intentions, our perceptions, our disrespect of the other, our drive to possess and enlarge our ego at the expense of another. That is a man thing he is talking about in my view. On another teaching ground, he made the point that in the Kingdom/community of God, power does not give the right to dominate and to lord it over others, as we think and do. Clearly there is something sensitive in us men that Jesus is reaching out to release. It is there in the way he deepens our view of anger, murder and genocide in v 21 of this same chapter. The slashing tongue says Jesus is just as homicidal as the bullet knife and bomb. Racism and other ideologies that discard the dignity and equality of peoples is lethal genocide, the undervaluing and exclusion of women that continues worldwide and in our homes and community is a capital disgrace. In the way of Jesus, relations among us have a new high to aim at and the point emerges as our Saviour speaks to men. No wonder he told the powerful Nicodemus in Jerusalem, ‘you must be born again’.

When our lord spoke about adultery, he was at the same time uplifting the place of marriage as the expected interaction between men and women. He was discarding the notion of woman as the object and weaker vessel in such relationships and he was facing us as a man implicitly unmarried, but in respectful and loving and liberating interaction with women who were daily in his presence. A saviour, a mentor and a teacher among men.

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