Jesus is confronted by a group of Sadducees in our story today. They have a well-crafted question that they think will poke holes in Jesus’ teachings. We looked at this encounter twice before. In Matthew I raised questions about the woman that have always plagued me before moving onto the deeper realization that the Sadducees missed; God is all powerful and He is and does exactly as He says He will. This blog was titled “Whose Wife is She.” The blog titled “On the Other Side” came from Mark’s telling of this story. During this visit to scriptures we looked at the evidence of the resurrection, which was a central issue in this question. Today I want to look at, why this question. That’s where I feel drawn today.
As I mentioned earlier, the Sadducees came with a well-crafted question. They believed they designed their question to catch Jesus in a quandary. A foundational part of Jesus’ teaching was life after death; the resurrection. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection, even though there was plenty of proof if they only looked. Their question was designed to capitalize on Moses’ teachings, especially that of marriage and family lines.
Their question was meant to discredit Jesus’ teaching. If they could topple one of His tenants of faith then the rest would fall. Like a house of cards, remove one piece and the others fold. But their cards fell instead this day. Jesus’ promises stood that day, as the still stand today.
They chose a fictitious woman and an outrageous scenario. I honestly have a hard time believing that one father would let this woman work her way through all his sons! Anyway, back on track. By setting up this scenario the Sadducees were poking fun of the resurrection. How are all these brothers supposed to handle seeing their wife again? Who is she supposed to be married to now? In our society today if she had been married to each and divorced each, she would be free of all of them. But in the Sadducees case, she wasn’t divorced and being that they were all “living”, which one should have the right to claim her.
Jesus stopped them in their tracks and took the conversation in a new direction. He started off by telling them that in the resurrection the same customs don’t apply as do here on earth. Those who “are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (verses 35-36). We don’t behave the same on the other side of death and not everyone gets to enjoy eternal life. We all get to partake in eternal ‘something’, but that ‘something’ depends on us and our decisions here.
Jesus finished off His answer to this question by clearly stating that God wasn’t the God of the dead but of the living. Meaning God was living too. So Jesus’ promise of eternal life to His followers was a VERY valid promise. He could and would deliver on that promise. In just a few days they would get to see the truth of that from Jesus Himself.
So their effort to ridicule Jesus’ doctrine of eternal life fell flat. Not only is there an afterlife but those who become sons of God actually get to be with Him in Heaven. They will never taste death again. They will be just like the angels in that respect.
Jesus answered that question so well that some of the scribes commented on it. I’m not certain, but I don’t think the scribes who commented were part of this group. I could be mistaken though. In any event this group’s question and answer session had come to a crashing halt. Next it’s Jesus’ turn to ask the questions.
Lord Jesus, I love seeing how You put the opposition in their place. I also love watching how You tie together scripture to show me what You have prepared for me. I’m looking forward to life after this life. I’m not ready to rush it, but I’m anxiously waiting. There are so many things I want to ask You about when I get there. I also want to have You personally explain the deeper meanings of Your parables; the parts I’m missing out on. I know I’m missing a lot of “good meet” in Your stories. I’m waiting for my Perfect Teacher to open it all up for me. Thank You for showing me the truth about this question today. I hadn’t really considered that they were trying to discredit Your teaching before. Thank You that they fell flat too. That Your promises are true. NOTHING can change them. You gave Your word and that’s all I need to know.