27: "Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question." - The Sadducees were an elite and conservative group of High Priests. They based their beliefs only on what could be read in the first five books of the Bible for this is 'when God spoke.' Their stance basically was: 'if God didn't say it then it must not be true.'
33: "Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” - Their question was designed to undermine the teachings of Jesus. It was a question they had pondered long and hard. They felt that there was no answer and because of this it proved there was no afterlife.
34-36: "Jesus replied, 'The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.'" - Jesus shows the Sadducees that their thinking is confined and limited. To fully understand the kingdom of heaven they would have to start thinking outside the box they had created and begin considering the unlimited possibilities of God.
38: "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.” - God promises hope instead of hopelessness. He offers unlimited possibilities instead of destinies that end up simply in a grave. He is a God of love and He gives His children eternal life.
Points to Contemplate:
Do you have unanswered questions?
As you struggle with life's issues are you able to go to Jesus with your questions? Do you listen to what He has to say or have you already made up your mind? The Sadducees had an extremely narrow viewpoint of God. Their discussions among themselves simply reinforced that limited perspective. From your perspective of God, have you put Him into a box and limited His capabilities in your life? Do you spend your time in tight-knit groups having discussions with like-minded people that only reinforce your already established and narrow-minded beliefs? Or, do you truly seek answers to difficult questions - answers that may expand your image of God? Do you carefully listen to opposing points of view or do you shut them off as quickly as a finger can push a button on a radio dial?
What happens when the answers you seek are different than what you expected? The Sadducees fully expected that Jesus would be stumped by their question. Have you ever been seeking God's support for an issue in your life only to be led to a completely different and surprising answer? Have you ever found yourself beating your head against a wall, working diligently to force a round peg of an idea into square hole in your life, only later to find a less difficult path, a round hole, presenting itself to you? What steps can you take to be more perceptive to God's teaching and less persistent in doing things your own way?
Do you have faith in God? Don't most issues of struggle and confusion in your life center around your inability to trust God? When you worry about things like money, the up-bringing of a child, or the state of world events, have you lost faith in God? When your heart is in turmoil and hopelessness seems to be cascading into your life with the drenching frequency of Niagara Falls, are you forgetting what God has promised to do for you? Do you see that worry, anxiety, and fear are issues of death and destruction? Do you remember that your God is a living God and that His promises for your life are eternal? Promises of the Gospel:
Frequently in life we think we know all the answers to the questions we face. We worry if we have chosen the right school for our children or if we are providing them a safe and healthy environment. Sickness invades our lives and suddenly we lose all hope for joy and happiness. We fear for the future of our country. Our hearts are filled with fear from the evening news and we lock our front doors with a prayer that evil be kept at bay. The example of the Sadducees shows us the danger of limiting our image of God in this way. We have asked the questions but we fail to listen to the answers God provides. Instead, we accept that there are no answers and that our life is hopelessly limited to disparaging pain, suffering, and fear. The Good News is that Jesus is answering our questions and those answers are filled with new hope. There is new perspective and God's plan for our lives is good - even when we do not see how. Our life as Christians is based on a promise of eternal life and because of that nothing is impossible. With this understanding we can place our faith in God in all situations in life, not just the issues where we think we know the outcome.