You may or may not know it, but June is marked as gay pride month. This past Sunday, June 24th, thousands joined to march for gay pride. This included my cousin and her husband, who proudly marched in New York City. They posted a picture on social media holding a rainbow colored sign that read “Jesus had 2 DADs.”
This blog is not politically inclined, and this post is not meant to go against that grain. The aim of this article is theological in nature; I would like to explain the non-sense of the sign.
Did Jesus have two dads? Though not phrased exactly like that, many pastors, and even children’s Sunday school teachers, teach their listeners that God was/is Jesus’s heavenly Father and that Joseph (Mary’s husband) was His earthly father. Numerous passages in the gospels make it exceedingly clear that God was and indeed is Jesus’s Father. Luke 1:26-38 reports that Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Godhead. In the gospel of John, Jesus continually references His Father, God (see especially John 8:12ff). While on the cross, Jesus cried out to God, “Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:34). Yes, God was and is Jesus’s Father.
What about Joseph? In a strictly biological sense, Joseph was not Jesus’s father. Jesus did not have any of Joseph’s genes. Nevertheless, His connection with Joseph was of utmost importance. In their respective genealogies, both Matthew (Matt. 1:2-17) and Luke (Luke 3:23-38) connect Jesus to Joseph. Yet, for theological reasons, it is imperative to notice how they do so. Matthew mentions Joseph as “the husband of Mary who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah” (1:16). Luke says that Jesus “was thought to be the son of Joseph…” (3:23). Neither of them call Joseph the father of Jesus, but they do note the connection between the two men. It was also because of Joseph, who was from the house of King David, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2 (Luke 2:1-7).
So, while not Jesus’s biological father, Joseph (alongside his wife Mary) did fulfill a fatherly role toward Jesus. To those who did not understand Jesus’s divinity and His conception by the Holy Spirit, it appeared that Joseph was His father.
So did Jesus have two dads? Not necessarily. God was and is His Father. Joseph served as His earthly father, helping Mary raise Him. But that really isn’t the issue. I honestly don’t have that much trouble with the phrase Jesus had two dads. If I were to say from the pulpit that God was His heavenly Father and that Joseph was His earthly father, that is in essence what I am saying.
My question is this: how does saying that Jesus had two dads promote the LGBTQ movement? God and Joseph were not in any sort of homosexual relationship. God the Father is spirit; He is not a sexual being. Joseph was a heterosexual male who was married to a woman. Together, he and Mary had several children of their own (Mark 6:3).
Trying to equate God and Joseph as Jesus’s two dads to two homosexual men raising children together does not work; Jesus was not raised in a two-father household. It doesn’t work scripturally and it doesn’t work theologically.