Daily Dose of Good News
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” (Mark 12:18-27)
The Sadducees were a sect of Jews leaders
Who rejected any notion for the resurrection of the dead,
Pinning their rejection on its absence
From the by the written Torah (first five books of the Bible)
Which they held to be the full scope of sacred scripture,
Unlike Pharisees who considering the prophets and oral tradition to be authoritative as well.
Here in this text, the Sadducees are trying to unravel Jesus teaching on the resurrection
With an absurd hypothetical scenario about a woman
Who, according to Jewish customs for widows,
Marries seven brothers from one family
One after another as each died,
Quizzing Jesus on whose wife she will be in the resurrection.
And Jesus deftly dismisses the challenge,
Indicating instead that the Sadducees puzzle is misdirected
While marriage is a human convention
For propagation and security within community life
As well as an opportunity for spouses self-giving, unconditional love
To serve as a witness of Christ-like love in the world,
No such convention will be necessary or even sensible in the resurrection
Where all persons will already be held in perfect union with God in Christ Jesus.
Christian scripture in many places describes Christ and the church
As sharing a marriage relationship as well.
With Christ as the groom and the church as the bride.
In heaven, that metaphor will become reality,
Rendering the Sadducees question meaningless.
Not only that, but Jesus also take the opportunity
To enlighten the Sadducees about the resurrection itself
From source in the Torah itself as well.
Even there, where speaking to Moses from the burning bush
God claims to be the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob
All in the present tense…
Indicating God’s ongoing relationship with them
Even though their times on earth has come to an end.
Friends, I pray hope in the resurrection helps give meaning and peace in your life today —
Understanding and appreciating all the ways you can
Enjoy and share union with God through your marriages, family,
Work and community service —
All the while confident in the day when God will complete that union
With you and everyone else whom God loves. Amen