Summary: Jesus is again challenged by yet another faction of the religious leadership of His day, this time the Sadducees come calling and they have a ’fool proof’ question that will stump this man they deem as a hinderance to the Kingdom of God...Oh how wrong the
Another challenge to Jesus’ teaching
October 20, 2010
Set the stage:
Jesus has entered Jerusalem and has been proclaimed Messiah by the people and the religious leaders were furious with Him about His refusal to silence their proclamation about Him. They demanded Him to have them stop, but that did not work. He drives out moneychangers and profiteers from the Temple and they challenge His authority to do that… but they are silenced by His wisdom and Jesus infuriates them even more with a parable about them.
They send in spies to trap Jesus with His own words, these spies ask leading questions to trap Jesus, but again His wise answers and teaching baffle the spies and they cannot trap Him, in fact they walk away from Jesus in awe of His answer to them and how He handles Himself. This sets the stage for the final challenge of the religious leaders… a last gasp effort by these men to discredit Jesus!
Now I want you to understand that these men were NOT happy with Jesus and they were willing to do anything to get Him out of the public eye. They could usually confound men with their imposing presence, but this did not affect Jesus. They could confuse and trap them with their own words, but Jesus was too smart for that.
They were going to try to make Him look like a fool (or so they thought) to discredit Him in public… all the while, they had a plan B and that plan B for them was ultimately God’s plan A… it was what Jesus was destined for… The Cross of Calvary!
A certain order within the religious leaders of Judaism came to Jesus to discredit Him. Using the law of Levirite marriage [which was designed to perpetuate the line of descent for a man who died with no heir] they presented a scenario that they believed was impossible to answer… they just knew that Jesus would be trapped and not able to answer and they would finally put Him in His place!
Jewish law required the brother of a man who dies without an heir to sire an heir with the deceased man’s wife so the man’s name would not die out. This was their law and it was expected of any man with who had a brother who died without an heir. This would NOT have been a scenario that would have been out of the ordinary for those sitting around and listening to Jesus that day…
Now they were the last remaining religious leader group to take a shot at Jesus and these men were part of a ‘religious/moral’ group called the Sadducees.
Now I have heard a little saying about the Sadducees… they did not believe in the resurrection or the afterlife that is what made them Sad You See…
They were theologically conservative in that all religious/moral conduct came from the Torah. They believed in God, but they did NOT believe in the resurrection OR the existence of angels. This scenario they were setting up was to make Jesus look foolish and theologically embarrass Him before the people.
Now the question arises out of their presupposition about certain things:
1) All relationships in the afterlife are going to be the same as they are here in this life… With monogamy being demanded for women (men could have multiple wives, but women could only have one husband) thus the absurd dilemma…
2) The apparent absurdity of this woman’s dilemma in the afterlife reveals that the afterlife and the resurrection are absurd ideas
So after setting up this grand scenario they offer up to Jesus the highly religious and deeply theological [or so they thought] question, “In the resurrection, who is going to be her husband?”
Now Scripture does NOT say this, but I can just imagine Jesus’ eyes rolling at about this time… I can imagine in His mind He was thinking, Are you serious? Are you joking?
The first thing we read Jesus doing here is taking their one basic premise and destroyed it. In other words, Jesus was saying to these men, - the foundation upon which you build your theology and view of the afterlife is flawed
Jesus was basically telling these men, “You have it all wrong!” or if He was to get a little sarcastic, -You have NO idea what you are talking about… -Jesus understood that the afterlife was a totally new paradigm… with NO connection to the earthly paradigm.
On earth, our physical bodies are going to die so we produce children to continue our legacy and progeny. In heaven, there is NO death, so continuing the progeny and marriage for that purpose would NOT be needed… so their point was a moot point!
These men also did not believe in the spirit world or angels and so Jesus’ answer was a bit of a dig at their views. Look what He says…