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.”
Jesus continues His lesson on resurrection and eternal life, explaining to those gathered that it will be different than the mortal existence we know here. We seem to assume the cultural and societal norms we practice will also be the case then. Jesus compares us to the angels – not being angels but like them – and tells us it will be unlike anything we have known.
I don’t believe Jesus faults us for wondering “what it will be like”. It is only when we use this imagining as fact and allow it to direct our thoughts and actions that we lose our way. However, the group He is addressing in this passage doesn’t believe in eternal life at all.
Jesus came to teach the truth to all, that through faith in Him we can be saved. To miss this blessing because we don’t believe in anything after our lives here is incredibly sad. His sacrifice opened the way to eternal life for us and His love goes out to everyone.
Gracious God, the gift of Your son has brought salvation to a world in need of forgiveness. Help us to live out this wonderful blessing and share our joy with all the world. Amen.