Did you happen to read?
That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
Thank you for joining us this Sunday as we testify to the great salvation and promise we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Today’s gospel begins very plainly and factually. Here comes another group to challenge Jesus. This time it is the Sadducees, as the gospel notes: those who deny that there is a resurrection. Well, there was good reason for their being named Sadducees because they were without hope – they were sad-you-see.
The Sadducees, like others, are going to Jesus, not to learn anything whatsoever, but to prove a point and show Him to be a worthless prophet. They come with this story of the widow who marries various brothers and after the seventh dies, leaving no heir to the original brother, the widow says, thank God that is over.
This process of one brother marrying the widow of another brother to ensure he has heirs is found in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 25:5-10 if you would like to look it up.
This kind of marriage is called a Levirate marriage. In many positive ways it served as a protection for the childless widow who would have no one, being childless, to provide for or protect her. This type of marriage also ensured the survival of the clan.
What is interesting here is that by Jesus’ time the practice of levirate marriage was out of favor and had declined in practice. That being the case, the Sadducees question was strange in and of itself – and it gets stranger.
The Sadducees’ question becomes even stranger when you consider how manufactured it was. It was a reductio ad abusurdum argument, trying to prove that there cannot possibly be a resurrection because all these absurd machinations of marriage and childlessness would come to chaos in eternity, everyone looking for a spouse and wandering about heaven calculating who it might be. As such, reduced to, the resurrection is absurd.
Here Jesus, while not wasting time on their absurd question, cuts to the chase. And to really understand this we need to know that the Sadducees only believed in and followed the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch.
Jesus says: That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush. The very books you follow, and say are the only books, right in their very middle, themselves prove the resurrection. You haven’t even read what you claim to believe.
Brothers and sisters, take time to study scripture. Know what God says and what He promises. Life in Him is forever. In that, be alive in God and live forever.