Summary: Exposition of Mark 12:18-27 regarding the Sadducees and their question about marriage, resurrection, and the afterlife
Text: Mark 12:18-27, Title: You’re Way Off, Dude, Date/Place: NRBC, 11/2/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: Sunday School conversation that we were having about how we act and specifically what we say around really smart or really godly people…
B. Background to passage: This is the second of four questions (three that were asked to Jesus, and one that Jesus asked) in Mark 12. This one comes from the Sadducees who were one of the ruling parties in Jerusalem. They were mostly made up of the aristocracy and were theologically committed to no angels, no resurrection, no afterlife, and nothing but the Torah (so they were “sad you see”). Jesus is a little less evasive directly to their question, but still not giving a dissertation on eschatology. The truth is that they are simply trying to catch Him in a quandary, and can’t. The story that they tell is not original to them, but found the apocryphal book of Tobit. But in reality it is kinda like asking whether or not Adam had a belly button.
C. Main thought: In the text we will see one big problem and two correcting remarks from Jesus,
A. Big Problem (v. 24)
1. The word for mistaken is a little stronger than this translation. It could also be translated “fallen astray off the path of truth.” It means to be deceived, led astray, or err from truth. Jesus just said you are wrong. Remember that this tact is Jesus’ way of dealing with hypocrisy, not with real seekers. Jesus is fairly aggressive up front telling these religious leaders that they don’t know the scripture, and don’t know the power of God. Two aspects to the power of God: 1) the knowledge of God’s ability, and 2) the experience of God’s power upon your life.
2. John 5:38-40, Gen 18:14; Jer 32:17; Luk 1:37; Heb 3:10,
3. Illustration: One writer said, it was like tell the brokers that work on Wall Street that they don’t know anything about finance. Maybe that is not too far from true…tell about my error the other day with the bible trivia questions at the corn maze in TN, They then asked him to relate one of the parables to the membership committee. And a bit uncertain, he began… “Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; and the thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man, Sir, a thousand talents of silver, and a hundred changes of raiment. And he got in his chariot and drove furiously, and as he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging here! And he hung there many days and many nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stony ground. And it begin to rain, and rained forty days and forty nights. And he hid himself in a cave. Later he went on and met a man who said, “Come in and take supper with me.” But he said, “I can’t come in, for I have married a wife.” And the man went out into the highways and hedges and compelled him to come in! He then came to Jerusalem, and saw Queen Jezebel sitting high and lifted up in a window of the wall. When she saw him she laughed, and he said, “Throw her down out of there,” and they threw her down. And he said “Throw her down again,” and they threw her down seventy-times-seven. And the fragments which they picked up filled twelve baskets full! NOW, whose wife will she be in the day of the Judgment?” The majority of all born-again Christians read the Bible once or twice a week, or not at all. The survey found that only 18% of all Christians said they read the Word every day, while another 18% read the Bible between three and six days a week, 37% read it once or twice a week, and 23% said they do not read the Bible at all.
4. When you and I are witnessing and we can tell someone is just trying to trip us up, it is OK to be a little witty or aggressive. But to those who are truly seeking answers, we must be more tactful. What would you say, if you made a comment or asked a question, and Jesus told you that you are gone astray? And then proceeded to tell you that you didn’t know the scriptures or the power of God. Could this be true of our church? Or you as an individual? Could we as one of the most conservative, bible-centered denominations in the country have fallen into such a trap? What would Jesus say regarding your knowledge or commitment to knowledge of His Word? Have you ever experienced God’s power upon you? Do you really believe that God can do anything?