Friday again! This week seems to have flown by me. It sounds like we are headed into a beautiful weekend here in southern Illinois, I hope the Son is shining on you wherever you are too.
As the hour is quickly approaching for our Lord to bear the cross, Satan is throwing all that he can at Jesus to wear Him down before the crushing blow he will receive at Calvary. The long appointed time is near: Genesis 3:14 "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
The serpent's "seed" or offspring have been coming to Jesus incessantly with their question to trap Him in some presumed offense. Every time He has rendered them speechless to answer back, and today's study is no exception.
Matthew 22:23 "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,"
The Sadducees were generally the upper class of the Jewish people. They were more concerned with politics than religion, and they held most of the seats in the Sanhedrin court. They could not relate well to the common folk because of their wealth and alliance with Rome. They did not believe there was life after death; no resurrection, no angel, and no demons. The only Scripture they held to be true was the first 5 books of the Old Testament, also known as the Pentateuch. Since the afterlife and resurrection is not directly spelled out in these books, they did not think it to be true. The Pharisees had enlisted the help of the Sadducees before against Jesus. That attempt fell flat against the truth of Jesus as well, (Matthew 16).
Matthew 22:24 "Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her."
As they stated, Moses did teach that the widow of a man's brother must be taken into the surviving brother's home and be given "seed" or impregnated so that the woman would have someone to take care of her in her old age. Deuteronomy 25:5 "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her." Sounds weird and a bit perverted to us today, but there were no social services to take care of a widow without a son's help. A woman in such cases was often reduced to that of a beggar or prostitute.
Their question was absurd; not only because of the number of sons that took the woman, but because they did not even believe what they were asking. Jesus did not reprimand them however. There were plenty of other ears within hearing that would learn from this exchange...even us!
Matthew 22:29 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
Mark recounts basically the same, but Luke has more detail for us: Luke 20:34 "And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him."
Jesus points out that if they knew the Scriptures and the power of God then they would know these things. How can we today know these things without the Word of God?
"The children of this world marry" to keep our flesh from committing fornication, God has given us the marriage covenant. It serves a purpose here, but none in "that world" or inside Heaven's gates. Those "accounted worthy," by the imputed righteousness we attain from Jesus' sacrificial blood, will know each other, but not as husband and wife. I will not love my David any more than I love anyone else. We will be spiritual and not the least bit carnal.
The Sadducees did not even believe in angels, but Jesus tells us we will be "equal" to them!
Have you ever noticed that most "angels" are represented in our culture as feminine, but in the pages of the Bible they have masculine names; Michael and Gabriel?
To make His point Jesus goes back to the time Moses stood before the burning "bush" in Exodus chapter 3. When God spoke to Moses, He said that He IS the God of the forefathers, signifying that these great men of the Old Testament are still alive, and that God is still their God. He IS the God of both the "living" here in the flesh, and those who are made alive forevermore in His Son Christ Jesus!
Matthew 22:33 "And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine."
Many ears took in this lesson, but Luke tells us about some surprising folks in the Amen corner: Luke 20:39 "Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said."
This bit of praise from the scribes was probably due to His stance against their antagonists the Sadducees. Something more like, "Yeah, Jesus, you tell 'em!"
Luke 20:40 "And after that they durst not ask him any question at all."
Sometimes we show greater wisdom by saying nothing at all.
Have a blessed weekend!