This particular discussion was inspired by this (admittedly facetious) blogpost entitled “Where Would Jesus Pee?”
In it, Andrew Seidel raises an interesting point: Jesus had a biological mother, but no biological father. Therefore, even if the Holy Spirit intervened to cause Mary to become pregnant, all of the genetic material was from his mother.
Now, a person of female gender has two X chromosomes (XX) while a person of male gender has an X and a Y (XY). The gender of their child is determined by which chromosome they get from the father – either the X or the Y. But, since Jesus has no biological father, then all of his genetic material would come from Mary, meaning he got an “X” instead of a “Y” and so must be female.
I recently presented this as part of our church’s “Message for All Ages” (being very careful of how I presented it, given that grammar school aged children were present). Then asked the question, “So, what do you think; why isn’t Jesus a Girl?”
As you can imagine, this produced some amazing facial expressions (and answers) from kids and adults like!
The point of this exercise is to challenge our preconceptions of what Jesus must have been like: How can we be sure he was genetically male, or even that he presented himself as a typical male, for that matter? Why do we assume Jesus is just like us?