Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection, whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘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. You are sorely mistaken!” (NIV)
Okay, let’s dive in with some observational lessons from today’s Gospel reading:
- Don’t be a dip-wad and try to trip-up Jesus with philosophically ethereal questions.
- If you want to be rebuked by Jesus for being ignorant, mistaken, and wrong, just try and control how a conversation with him ought to go.
- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus are all alive – Sadducees, not so much.
- Jesus will take the time and attention to listen and give feedback – maybe the kind you weren’t looking for.
- What we get hung up on, Jesus doesn’t – and what Jesus sticks on, we act like Teflon about.
Do you want to keep going….?
To deny resurrection is to deny Jesus. Christ died. He’s now alive. Hence, there is a resurrection. More than that, because Christ lives, others live. This is the Christian’s hope.
I fully understand plenty of people don’t believe in resurrection. That’s fine. I would simply point such a person no further than their own mind and heart. “Search your feelings,” as the Jedi would say, “What do they tell you?” The evidence you need, you already have.
And this was the penultimate lesson of Jesus to the inquisitive Sadducees. They already had the answer to their question for Jesus. It was right under their noses the entire time. They just didn’t see it.
You already have everything you need for life and godliness in this present evil age.
One of the great sages of the last century, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, wisely said:
“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
Resurrection has always been there because God has always been around – even when we don’t see, perceive, or acknowledge the divine.
It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to procrastinate the inevitable end of life scenario that awaits us all. Anytime is the right time to do a bit of personal funeral planning. Yet, if we mire it all with the esoteric hypothetical questions about what would happen in the most far-fetched of scenarios, methinks God is big and smart enough to see through our puny charade.
Better to ponder what is truly within your own soul, and how Jesus might already be present within and around all things, without us even knowing it.
A good place to start in peering within is to give a straightforward honest reading of the New Testament Gospels and discover what resonates deeply with you about the person and work of Jesus.
Feel free to question him about anything you want; just brace yourself for what kind of answer you might receive.