Summary: A sermon on the Sadducees question about the resurrection based on Luke 20:27-44. (Much material adapted from Sermon Central Contributor Scott Carson from his sermon, "Are You My Wife?")
Sermon for 9/3/2006
Are eclipses confusing to roosters?
If a wedding goes off without a hitch, was it successful?
I read in the paper that a submarine sank. Isn’t that their job?
A. My sermon doesn’t have much to do with Labor Day except resting from our weary labor here on earth. This morning we are focusing our thoughts on heaven.
B. Luke 20 is a chapter full of questions. Begins with leaders in the temple asking Jesus, “Who gave you authority to do these things?” Jesus throws a question at them, “John’s baptism- was it from heaven, or from men?”
C. Catch Jesus in something he said so they ask, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” All very good questions. Now we have another question and it is silly.
Thesis: This sermon is brought to you by the letter “S.”
1. Sadducees. Vs. 27
B. The Sadducees were the religious elite of their day. They were known for their arrogance and rudeness. They had high positions in the nation and in the temple because of their ancestors. They had a monopoly on the high priestly line. They held the bulk of the seats in the Jewish ruling council. They were rich because they made their money from the temple. They were sympathetic toward Rome.
C. What did they believe? Whatever was convient at the time, a lot like certain politicians. Ask them in private what they really believe, they don’t believe is the main thing. They denied the existence of angels and demons. They were skeptical of anything supernatural like miracles. They didn’t believe in the resurrection, the continuation of the soul after death, or even in a future judgement. They didn’t believe in the resurrection so nothing really mattered except they didn’t want to lose their positions, that mattered. They believed that everything in life is up to the man, believe in yourself theology.
D. While the Sadducees may be dead and gone, their ideas are alive and well, even in the Church. Many denominations have Sadducees in their ranks. Polls come out every once in a while on a particular denomination and it is amazing how many ministers who preach every Sunday, really do not believe in the basic teachings of Christianity.
2. Seven brothers. Vs. 28-33
A. This is a silly question but is it? On the surface it sounds so ridiculous. The Sadducees may have borrowed this idea from the ancient book of Tobit, which tells the bizarre story of a woman who married seven times only to have each husband strangled in the bed chamber on the wedding night. This story has a touch of humor because these brothers are so stupid as to marry the black widow.
B. In the law of Moses there is a stipulation that if someone’s brother dies without any children, then the remaining brother must marry his brother’s widow to carry on his brothers estate and to provide children for his brother. We see in the book of Ruth this being the case. Now, we also know from the book of Ruth that a brother or close relative did not have to obey this command. Boaz was not the closest kinsman redeemer. Boaz redeemed Ruth because the closest kinsman redeemer refused to carry out his obligations to his relative. As a matter of fact, this law of the kinsman redeemer was rarely followed unless the widow was very attractive or wealthy.
C. they have racked their brains to come up with situation so as to discredit the whole idea of the resurrection. It is amazing the thoughts and questions that are brought out from those who are unbelievers. Some people will apply their minds to the Scriptures and ideas of God not to increase belief but to increase unbelief.
D. when W. C. Fields was on his deathbed, a visitor found him reading the Bible. Asked what he was doing, he replied, "Looking for loopholes, my friend. Looking for loopholes."
D. They are trying to reduce the doctrine of the resurrection to an absurdity. Making it sound like those with a logical mind would never believe in the resurrection. They presented this “straw man” scenario in an attempt to trap Jesus and make Him look like a country bumpkin. Get people to laugh at Jesus and to laugh at God.
E. The issue they bring up is whose wife will she be in the resurrection. Who ever said that there was marriage in heaven? The Bible up to this point doesn’t discuss it. They are making the mistake of thinking that the way things are on earth are the way things are going to be in heaven. They don’t believe in heaven and so they make a mockery of it.