27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “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. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless.30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions. Luke 20:27-40
Jesus finds himself constantly pursued for debate and argument. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were looking for ways to entrap Jesus so his credibility would be destroyed.
The Sadducees were the priests at the Temple who denied that there was a resurrection of the dead. In their view, we die and that’s it. So they come to Jesus with a question about the resurrection. Everyone knows the position of the Sadducees on the resurrection, so the question was really a cynical means of entrapping Christ. The question is about marriage but the real issue is the resurrection.
They quote a law Moses gave on marriage and wait to see how Jesus will refute the greatest Law giver of Israel. To challenge Moses would certainly harm Jesus’ credibility. Jesus ignores the marriage question and goes to the heart of the matter. There is a resurrection. As they use Moses so also does he. Jesus calls them to remember how God spoke to Moses at the burning bush. God identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is the God of the Living. We are given the gift of the resurrection.
The Sadducees left him and “no one dared to ask him anymore questions.”
For your Lenten reflection: How do you wrestle with your spiritual questions? Do you avoid the questions? Do you get defensive if the answer is one you don’t expect, or the one you don’t want to hear?
Dear God, use my questions to draw me into a deeper relationship with you. Create in me an open heart that desires to grow a mature faith. In Christ’s name, Amen.