Was Jesus Sexually Abused?

I've always had a difficult time with how I've heard this Bible verse interpreted:

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession.  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

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It sounds so comforting--Jesus, God in the flesh, knows what we're feeling.  He gets it.  He feels our pain.  Every single pain, I've heard it said.  I have found comfort in that verse several times, and yet at other times I have wondered how one man, divine or otherwise, could possibly experience every infirmity and sickness.  How could Jesus, a male, possibly know or feel what it's like to be a woman?  

Did He have PMS?  Did He ever have cramps?  Mood swings?  

Did He walk down the street and feel the degrading stares of men?

Did He ever have a peeping Tom?

Did He ever fear that His body would be violated?

Did He know what it felt like to be alone in His room, scared to hear the footsteps down the hall, sickened by the thought that He would once again be made to endure the physical touch of someone who shouldn't be touching and saying words He shouldn't be hearing?  Did He fear going to Mary or Joseph to tell them something that would rock their world and force them to make decisions that could impact an entire village?  Did He watch another boy go off alone with His predator and feel the inexplicable guilt of not saying anything?  

Was Jesus ever sexually abused?

(Gasp!)  RACHAEL!  I thought to myself.  Of course, not!  That...that...  oh, no.  That doesn't happen to boys.  And certainly not Jesus.  Not the perfect Christ.  Not GOD!  How... irreverent of you!

That doesn't happen to boys?  Can I just say that was a dumb thought?  All I have to do is say the word, "priest" and all of us can shake our heads and agree that it happens to hundreds of thousands of boys in every denomination, every country, and every segment of society.  

Irreverent?  

This is where I was surprised to find in myself a deep-seeded, unconscious belief I had never explored.  How is asking if Jesus was ever sexually abused irreverent?  Does that make Him dirty?  Spoiled?  Impure?  

Yeah, that's exactly what my knee-jerk reaction was.  Wow, Rachael.  Think about that.  You are saying that anyone who has been sexually abused is dirty, spoiled, and is impure.  Whoa! So wrong! So incredibly sickening and backwards!

But am I alone?  When you saw the title of this blog post, did it rile you a bit?  Did it make you doubt my sincerity as a Christian?  Were you judging me the instant you read that title?  Am I the only one who didn't realize she believed that lie?  

If being sexually abused diminishes Jesus' divinity, then what are we saying to young boys and girls?  One of the biggest problems psychologists deal with is helping those abused to realize and know that the shame, the dirty feelings, and the impurity does not belong to them--they belong to the abuser.    They are not the ones who did wrong.  They did nothing dirty and they are as pure as they ever were.  

Abuse does not diminish their purity... just as it wouldn't diminish Jesus' divinity.   Read that again.

I hope that that thought makes you stop and evaluate yourself.  I might be the only one who had that reaction.  But if I am not alone, can we now begin to rally around those we know who have been sexually abused and be able to affirm them more genuinely that they are clean?  Can we send the message that they are not the ones who need to be forgiven of sexual sin?  Can we become safer people to those whose safety has been violated?  We must!

As for that verse in Hebrews, I have different ideas about that now, but that's not really the point, is it?


*disclaimer:  For those who know me personally, the picture of Christ hearing footsteps down the hall and being sexually abused is not something I experienced myself.  The men in my life weren't all perfect, but they weren't sexual abusers.  Some of the boys, however...  

We have a serious problem with what we find acceptable behavior in the way teen boys are allowed, perhaps expected, to treat teen girls.  But that would be another post.  Any takers?



2 comments:

  1. Wow, Rachael...just wow. You have definitely given me food for thought, and I feel, changed a little piece of my heart for the better. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for that comment, Kathy! I know I already said something on Facebook, but I still don't really know what to say. ha! Other than thanks, that is. :)

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