Our scripture this week is Matthew 22:23-33.
“That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?” Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.”
The Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection, so they were immediately at odds with Jesus’ message. That’s why they were “sad, you see” (old preacher joke!) They use a riddle in an attempt to discredit His teaching, but Jesus uses scripture they are familiar with as an answer. He often turned to what people knew as a starting point for new teaching.
He tells them that as teachers they should be more wise in understanding God’s word. Any who would lead will be held to a higher standard. He also warns they are ignoring the power of God, that earthly ways are not heavenly ways.
Jesus didn’t condemn them, but tried to explain their mistaken belief about resurrection and eternal life. Jesus gives us all the assurance that by faith we can be saved and live with God. We don’t know exactly how it will be, but we can trust His promise that it will be beyond any joy we know.
Loving Lord, when we don’t understand, help us to seek the truth rather than creating our own limited answers. Your word is the ultimate knowledge and we are grateful to share it with the world. Amen.