We often wonder
But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.
The Sadducees confronted Jesus intent on embarrassing Him so they could prove their political point of view. The party of the Sadducees believed that there would be no resurrection of the dead. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection.
The conflict over the resurrection was one of several between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They had a conflict of class, wealthy versus the poor, priests and aristocrats versus ordinary people. Another conflict was cultural, between those who favored Hellenization and those who resisted it. The Pharisees emphasized the importance of the Second Temple with its rites and services, while the Sadducees emphasized the importance of other Mosaic laws. They differed too on the Torah and how to apply it to Jewish life, with the Sadducees recognizing only the written Torah and rejecting oral tradition. The historian Josephus tells us that the Pharisees had the backing of the common people.
The problem of political and philosophical conflicts â€“ as we know â€“ arenâ€™t limited to the times of Jesus. It even rears its ugliness in conflicts between Christians. When will the end come, what will it be like, how should the Church be organized, who should lead, how should we worshipâ€¦? It goes on and on.
Each political point of view tries to provide the answer to â€œwhat if.â€ They try to ease our wondering and our wandering, but their answers are not the truth. Jesus is the truth. Unfortunately neither the Pharisees nor Sadducees saw that â€“ their politics got in the way. We still fail when we seek answers to â€œwhat ifâ€ from politicians and the world even though the answer of Jesus is within our grasp.
The Maccabees were certain. They knew that surety in God was more important than the â€œwhat ifsâ€ of today. They suffered and died, not asking â€œwhat if,â€ but saying, â€œI know.â€ the mother who, seeing her seven sons perish in a single day, bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
For us there can be no reliance on politics. We neednâ€™t question â€œwhat if,â€ but rather need to stand strong and sure. Jesus never promised more questions but promised absolute certainty to His faithful â€“ life everlasting.
Take confidence in the way of the Lord. Do not wonder â€œwhat if.â€ Be sure only in Him Who guides us, is faithful, and gives us the answer we need.