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by Michelle Dee

It's not often contemplated, but how would Jesus have lived if he had been born transgendered? Since this is only speculation, we can't really know for certain, but we can look at his character and see more deeply how his example relates to our lives.

Jesus would not have let being transgendered affect his work.
Transgendered people have enough enemies in this world, but so did Jesus. People in power did not respect him and gave him no special favors. He faced ridicule, attack, physical abuse, and humiliation at times, yet even on the cross at the hour of his death he was still doing good deeds and standing up for what was right. [Luke 23:42-43] Jesus also knew the cost of being one of his disciples: "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." [Luke 14:27] If Jesus were transgendered, he would have consistently remembered his primary purpose: to serve the Lord in all things. He would have remembered that his primary identity lay in God the Father, and, for us, Jesus supplies that same primary identity. As a result, we can live free, do good deeds, and be enveloped in God's love.

It might not have made any difference to him what his outward appearance looked like, but he would have focused on relating to people in ways they understood.
Jesus, although he was the master of all creation, consistently appeared to people in the outward appearance of an ordinary man, revealing only a glimpse of his true appearance to Peter, James and John. And, then, it was only on a mountaintop where they were all alone. There, he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. [Matthew 17:2] When Jesus changed back into an ordinary man, he instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until I have been raised from the dead." [Matthew 17:9b] Just as we occasionally take people into our confidence, sharing our innermost secret about our transgendered status, so Jesus carefully chose only a few of his close friends with which to share this most intimate moment.

Also, when considering the transfiguration of Christ--the only physical alteration of Jesus during his earthly life--we see that Jesus did not decide that because he was God of all creation he was going to force the image of his glorified body upon those who could not understand it. This would appear to be another reason why Peter, James and John were sworn to secrecy. It also could have been that if the other disciples were to find out, they would ask him to transfigure himself wherever he went. I think we can identify with that one a little bit!

He would have felt just as lonely as we feel sometimes.
Most transgendered people have experienced the feeling of being a public spectacle, of the instant celebrity that accompanies their sexuality. Jesus was no stranger to public scrutiny and debate! His ministry was full of instances of people mobbing him, chasing him with intent to kill, and religious condemnation. Fellow Jews plotted to murder him!

And when Jesus wasn't being sought for murder, he was being swarmed by people who wanted to touch him and be near him for various reasons, sometimes not always pure. Even among his closest friends, the apostles, Jesus was often misunderstood when describing who he was. He was the embodiment of God, but he was just as much a human being. With a life of such incredible celebrity, loneliness and anxiety were constant companions for Jesus.

For example, he confesses his anxiety to certain Greeks attending the Passover, shortly before his death. In predicting his impending death, Jesus says, "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" [John 12:27]

Jesus' only true peace was found when he took the time to commune with God, which was often. "The news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." [Luke 5:15-16]

He would have carried on his daily life, despite wild, incorrect rumors about him.
Picture it for a moment. Jesus is telling hundreds and thousands people about how free they can be through believing he is the Son of God. All the while he is dealing with a religious authority plotting to kill him, rulers threatened by his teaching, people who aren't quite catching the drift of his concepts, and instant celebrity everywhere he goes. In our world, where there is celebrity, there are false rumors, and Jesus had his share, just like us.

The religious authorities accused him publicly in the synagogue of being possessed by the demon Beelzebub, since Jesus had successfully driven demons out of people. [Matthew 12:24] Jesus himself asked his disciples what people were saying about him. [Matthew 16:13-14] Then, he applauds Peter for standing his ground and declaring that he is the Son of God. [Matthew 16:16]. Of course, it is Peter who denies even knowing Jesus after he is taken captive.

Jesus had his share of fair-weather friends, and he knew that he had to carry on, despite what people were saying about him. His mission was more important than people's complete acceptance of him. It's a theme we know very well.

He would not have been out to please people, but to do what needed to be done.
Most of Jesus' statements in Matthew 16 and 17 are rebukes directed at his own disciples, who were going to be the ones responsible for spreading the news about Jesus after he returned to heaven. Jesus cared about them deeply, loving them as much as he loves any of us, but he also didn't care if he had to discipline them, accusing them at times of being faithless, unbelieving, perverse, a stumbling block, and generally misguided. If Jesus were transgendered, he would not have deviated from his God-given values and plan, even to please someone else.

He still would have focused on others, instead of being wrapped up in himself.
Can anyone see Jesus Christ stopping his mission to serve God in every way--to be obedient unto death on a cross--because of a gender issue? This does not minimize what we go through as transgendered individuals, but it does emphasize that Jesus would not have allowed his ministry to become paralyzed by a personal issue. He still would have healed the sick, made blind men see, cast out demons, raised people from the dead, made beggars walk, fed 9,000 people with the equivalent of bag of groceries, and more. We do not have such God-like power, but we can remember to be in service to others, no matter what our sexuality or gender issues.

This article is reprinted from Michelle Dee's now defunct website. If anyone knows how to contact Michelle Dee, please contact me.  Thanks!