Dream word – CHOOSE
“But He said to them, ‘All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 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.’” NKJV
The gift of celery
As a man, I have come to appreciate the gift of celery. It has been some years since this marvellous plant was discovered to be rich in the male steroid, Androsterone and now, the latest research seems to indicate that this male hormone enhances pheromones, which in turn physically attracts women, especially those whose genetic makeup does not overlay our own, and apparently, this same hormone also subjugates other men! Pass me the celery! When such a gift enhances my male sexuality then this is a gift I can personally and most readily accept.
Jesus today speaks of another gift. A gift of celibacy. Now let me cut to the chase, if you will excuse my pun, for Jesus is talking about a man with no testicles. He is talking about a man, who is devoted to his calling above all the natural inclinations and relations of life. Jesus says there are three kinds on testicular absent males, those born that way, those made that way and those you who choose to live that way!
Now, this is serious stuff, for it was Origen of Alexander who famously castrated himself (ouch!) having literally interpreted this passage, so as to allow him the ability to teach female disciples without their being any hint of scandal! He regretted his personal action in later life and then most thoroughly railed against the continued and weird practice and anyone following in his footsteps! So, let us all agree with the Origen of more mature years, that this passage is not to be taken literally. (Some of you men can let go now!)
Jesus says two rather amazing things in our text for tonight. He first says that “Yes, it’s a difficult one, but some people can choose to forego their righteous, sexual and social relationship rights for the sake of the Kingdom.” Celibacy then, implies Jesus, is quite clearly a choice! This means there is a cost in this choice. This is hard for the individual and not many can accept it because the choice is not made in the absence of desire or the absence of need, but in the full-blown presence of both! Celibacy is a choice, not a response to the inability to find a mate, not a desperate decision made in response to any outplay of homosexual or asexual tendencies, no, celibacy is a hard and righteous choice of sacrifice, for the sake of more focused service choice in the Kingdom of God.
The second thing that Jesus says is that if you choose to accept this way of living and are able to do so, then you have received a hard gift. Did you get that, the gift did not make the choice easy, but the choice made the gift acceptable!
I believe there is a principle here for us all to embrace in that in our lives we have to make many hard choices for the sake of the Kingdom. When we make these hard and righteous choices, and are able to accept them for what they are, then in some majestic and marvellous way, these hard choices will transform themselves into solid gifts to us and tremendous blessings to others.
As for me, give me celery every time!
Listen: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.” 1 Corinthians 7:5-7 NKJV
Pray: Lord, there are hard choices to be made for the sake of the kingdom. Please Lord, give me the courage and the grace to make these hard choices, then O Lord, would You please make them Your special gift to me, and of tremendous blessing to others, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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