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Matthew 22:23-33

Concerning the Resurrection

23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Jesus was under constant attack in these final days of His ministry. Having defeated the cunning of the chief priests and elders and the trap of the Pharisees' disciples and the Herodians, He is now faced with a group of Sadducees. They had a similar plan to ensnare Him, but their purpose was to prove that His doctrine of the resurrection was unpractical and wrong.

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead nor many of the other beliefs that were held by the Pharisees. They only accepted the first five books of the Bible as the inspired word of God and saw no scriptural justification for the resurrection of the dead nor any kind of after life.

Relying on Genesis 38:8 and Deuteronomy 25:5, they asked Jesus a question concerning the death of seven brothers. Each died before fathering a child and the next married his wife according to the law until all seven men had married the same wife and had all died childless. The Sadducees wanted to know whose wife she would be after the resurrection. Their point was that God would not have given this law, while knowing that it would cause such a problem in the resurrection. Since the law was clear, but there was no scriptural evidence of the resurrection, Jesus' doctrine must be wrong.

Jesus' answer pointed out two errors that the Sadducees made in their reasoning. Both errors were caused by their lack of a personal relationship with God.

First, they did not know the scriptures. Having discarded most of the word of God, they should have had a greater understanding of the five books from which they derived their beliefs. To correct this error, Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6, which says, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" God used the present tense, indicating that He had an ongoing relationship with these men, who had died hundreds of years before this statement was made. Why didn't God say, "I was the God of Abraham ....etc.?" This scripture proved that there was a life after death. Our God is the God of the living.

Secondly, the Sadducees had underestimated the power of God. The resurrection would be more than a mere continuation of our present existence. There will be a new natural order. We will all be married to Jesus Christ. Our focus will be on God; our desires will be for God; and our fulfillment will be from God. There will be no distinction between male and female, because we will have no need for a mate. God will be the fulfillment of all of our needs. Like the angels in heaven, we will be joined to God in hearts and minds. He will be everything to us.

The power of God can only be appreciated by those who have an active ongoing relationship with Him. Only then can we see Him working through us to do the impossible and we begin to understand that His powers are greater than we could ever imagine.

It is very important that we hold to proper doctrines in our churches. Even small misunderstandings of the scriptures can lead to large errors of faith. Perhaps we should encourage more personal Bible study and do less teaching, relying more on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. No man has a perfect understanding of everything that God has said to us. When we teach, we share our own misunderstandings along with the word and we become our own brand of Sadducees. Most modern Christians have no training in how to study the Bible but lots of training in what others think it means.

God did a miracle through Jesus' doctrine. The crowd was astonished at it. Many gained an understanding of Him that they had never had before, and even the Sadducees had no answer for what He taught. (v.34)

Before the Throne:

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart. Praise Him for the promise of the resurrection. Thank Him for the assurance that there will be a new order of things in which all of your desires, expectations, and needs will be fulfilled in Him. Ask God for a closer relationship with Him, so that you can witness more of His power working through you. Pray that He will give you the wisdom and understanding to face His enemies as Jesus did.

For Further Study:

** same. Mr 12:18-27; Lu 20:27-40; ** the Sadducees. Mt 3:7; 16:6; Ac 4:1; 5:17; 23:6-8; ** which. 1Co 15:12-14; 2Ti 2:18;

(v.24) ** Master. Mt 7:21; Lu 6:46; * Moses. Ge 38:8, 11; De 25:5-10; Ru 1:11; Mr 12:19; Lu 20:28;

(v.25) Mr 12:19-23; Lu 20:29-33; Heb 9:27;

(v.29) ** not. Job 19:25-27; Ps 16:9-11; 17:15; 49:14-15; 73:25-26; Isa 25:8; 26:19; 57:1,2; Da 12:2,3; Ho 13:14; Lu 24:44-47; Joh 20:9; Ro 15:4; ** nor. Ge 18:14; Jer 32:17; Lu 1:37; Ac 26:8; Php 3:21;

(v.30) ** in the. Mr 12:24-25; Lu 20:34-36; Joh 5:28-29; 1Co 7:29-31; 1Jo 3:1-2; ** as. Ps 103:20; Zec 3:7; Mt 13:43; 18:10; 1Jo 3:2; Re 5:9-11; 19:10;

(v.31) ** have. Mt 9:13; 12:3, 7; 21:16, 42;

(v.32) ** am. Ex 3:6, 15-16; Ac 7:32; Heb 11:16; ** God is. Mr 12:26-27; Lu 20:37-38;

(v.33) ** they. Mt 7:28-29; Mr 6:2; 12:17; Lu 2:47; 4:22; 20:39-40; Joh 7:46;


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