Rudy Ross has an excellent comparison between the Sadducees with the Pharisees. His thoughts can be found on today’s YouTube video.
The Sadducees focused their Bible study on the first five books of the Old Testament. Since they didn’t believe the resurrection was taught in those books, they didn’t believe in life after death.
Their hypothetical question was based on Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy.
— Deuteronomy 25.5-6 – When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing the duty of a husband’s brother to her,
And the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
The fundamental position of Deuteronomy is that a person lives on through their children, not through resurrection.
At this point, the Sadducees differed with both the Pharisees and Jesus.
The Sadducees posed this question to Jesus with the intention of making Jesus appear to contradict the teaching of Moses.
— Luke 20.27-33 – Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him
And asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.
“Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless;
“Then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died.
“In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”
They believed that the teaching of Moses taught that people lived through their children, grandchildren, etc. They didn’t believe that the individual lived beyond death.
Their question was intended to show how resurrection was incompatible with the law of Moses.
Two Ages and Two Forms of Marriage
Jesus responded to the question with two central points of his own.
First, he emphasized the difference between “this age” and “that age,” (the one where resurrection life occurs).
— Luke 20.34-36 – Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage;
“But those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.”
“Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.”
The needs of the present age involve marriage and children. In resurrected life, marriage is not needed for the procreation of children.
People often wonder if Jesus’ words mean that we will no longer relate to earthly spouses in heaven as we have on earth.
I like Billy Graham’s answer when he said that if God doesn’t have a life with our spouses available in heaven, it is only because he has something better for us.
Jesus’ second answer contains a powerful and comforting thought.
— Luke 20.37-40 – “And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
“Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”
Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.”
For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
The Bible is filled from the beginning to the end with names. Some of them are hard to pronounce and others may be uninteresting to readers.
Every name in Bible represents a person who is important to God. Unfortunately, not every person named in the Bible was a follower of the King of all kings.
Jesus named Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who all were privileged to know God personally and to live with him.
It would have been inconceivable for God to walk with these men during their time on earth, only to cease a relationship with them upon death.
He walked with them until the time of their death. Then, he took them by the hand and ushered them into heaven.
Jesus said it best, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
This passage is one of the most comforting and God-honoring in the Bible. The greatest Being of All desires a personal relationship with us, and he wants to live in our company forever. Praise God!
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Rudy has a very interesting and helpful understanding of how the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Jesus interacted.
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