Summary: Jesus isn’t just some dead guy.
Matt 22:29-32 – Knowing the Scriptures and the Power of God
Main Point of the Text:
Jesus is pointing out that;
(a) God is more powerful than your limited Tradition
(b) There is a resurrection
(c) The Scripture already told you
I want my hearers to know that
God has the power,
revealed in scripture,
to resurrect and transform dead lives.
I want my hearers to know how to see the power of God and Scripture in their own lives.
Our “common-sense” tradition can so easily blind us to God’s power that we miss out on the Resurrection Transformation, but God has given us his Word (Jesus) to remind us of the way.
II. A Question (The Context):
a. The People Behind the Question
b. The Motive Behind the Question
i. We don’t believe in the Resurrection
ii. We “know” how God works
c. The Trap Inside of the Question
i. The Trap for Jesus – How can you reconcile the law & the prophets
ii. The Trap of the Sadducees – We think we know God, and we can’t imagine him being any different. If you can’t imagine him being different, you can’t imagine him being powerful either…
III. An Answer:
a. The Power of God
i. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
ii. Abraham & Isaac Led him to a whole new land, Father of three Religions, etc…
iii. My favorite guy: Jacob
iv. Notice how the whole of life is here- The Father, The Laughter, and the Grasper…
b. The Power of Scripture
i. The problem: We think its dead – John 1:1 Who is the logos?
ii. The Solution: Remember its alive – meditate on it, let it talk to you (lectio devina)
c. The Power of Resurrection: Lives transformed by God through Scripture
IV. An Illustration: Pitcairn Island
V. An Invitation:
Some Random Points:
I. Context: “Three Dumb Questions from the Disinvited Guests” or “The Motive Behind the Questions of the Disivited”
a. Matthew 22’s Chapter Title
b. Vs. 1-14: The parable of the Disinvited Guest – Those who were originally invited to the Wedding Feast didn’t value it, so others were invited. But, even among those who came, there were those who didn’t realize how important it was, and they too lost out.
c. Vs. 15 – 23: The Herodians (Render unto Casear). The Herodians care only about Power, and so they try to trip up Jesus by forcing him into a Power Paradox. (Think Power = Money)
d. Vs. 24 – 32: The Saduccees (Resurrection Question). The Saducees, trapped in the Traditions of the Temple and the Torah, think they have it all figured out, and hence toy with Jesus by forcing him into mere Theoretical Talk. (Think Power = Tradition)
e. Vs 33:-39: The Pharisees (The Greatest Commandment). The Pharisees, seduced by the sophistry of the Synagogue, force Scripture to be burden for others to carry, and hence hope that Jesus will solidify their power by adding a commandment.
II. Who are the Sadducees.
a. Who are they?
ii. Temple Worshippers
iii. Torah Only
b. Contrast this with the other main schools of Judaism:
i. Pharisees are the Synagougists: They become modern Judaism
ii. Saducees are the Templist Patry: They die out with the Temple
iii. The Essenses are monks – Dead Sea Scrolls, also die out
iv. The Zealots are the al Qaida of their day: anti-Roman terrorists
v. The “Way” are the Christians
III. The Motives behind the Question
a. The Sadducees think they know all they need to know
b. They don’t think God “does” Resurrection, because its not explicitly mentioned in the Torah. (Note: However, if they had meditated on the story of Abraham & Isaac, they probably would have figured out that Abraham must have believed in Resurrection!)
c. Their religion is stale because it never grows. That which does not grow does not live. It is dead.
IV. I love the bit “He is God, not of the dead, but of the living.”
a. So many of us think that God only becomes important when we die. We think our salvation is a point after we die and are taken into heaven. But, Jesus is all about transforming lives down here as well…
b. Dead People do not move, they do not change– they have no need of a God. It’s the same with people stuck in a tradition. Only Living People need the Power of God to intervene in their lives.
My day job is as a computer programmer . The hardest thing to do as a computer programmer is to stay relevant, and yet, as anyone who has watched the stock market over the last few years knows, if you’re not relevant, you’re as a dead as the Pets.com sock puppet.