The Non-Normative Jesus

A new reading of Matthew 19:1-12

New Direction works to cultivate community in a number of Generous Space groups.  While each group is unique, usually there is a discussion time led by one of the group members.  We heard great feedback from a session that Andrew Dykstra facilitated and asked if he would be willing to pull his notes together into a post for our blog.  Thank you Andrew for sharing your reflections with our wider community!


In the familiar story where Jesus is tested on the matter of divorce, he answered the Pharisees, Torah for Torah. Afterwards, when speaking to his disciples, he showed a shocking bias, but he warned them twice it could be hard to accept.

In this post, I will be referring to “heteronormative” and “sexual minorities”. A more technical description for the latter might be “non-normative minorities.” These words are not meant to be judgemental. Rather, they distinguish heterosexual majority, or heteronormative, from a sexual or gender minority, or non-normative.

Many of us connected with New Direction identify as sexual minority people.  While this experience is the primary focus in my reflections, I would like you all to be alert to how this story affects you at a gut level.  You may initially find that this passage in Matthew does not seem to reflect your experience. But read on, because I believe Jesus offers good news that offers freedom to all. Once in a synagogue, Jesus said the following words: