Webteam: March 2017
Friday March 31st Matthew 22 : 31-32
Jesus answered, "As for the resurrection of the dead, have you never read what God himself said to you: "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob?" God is not the God of the dead but of the living".
The Pharisees and the Herodians had already attempted to catch Jesus out with trick questions. Now it was the turn of the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, nor did they accept any proof which could not be cited in the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses.
They posed a question based on Deuteronomy 25: 5 about a widow who married seven brothers in turn. This, of course, was an absurd scenario, intended to make the whole idea of the afterlife seem ridiculous.
In reply, Jesus quoted directly from the Pentateuch itself, arguing in a typically Rabbininc form that the living God could hardly be the God of the dead. Instead, said Jesus, we will be transformed into spiritual beings like angels. Jesus berated them for neither knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.
The real motive of the Sadducees was to maintain their own power and authority: they controlled the Temple and the High Priest was one of their number. They were wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, and not above collaborating with the occupying power, the Romans. Jesus, the King of the Jews, could be a real threat to them.
Ultimately, Jesus mission was the salvation of humankind but the Sadducees did not want people even to believe that there was an afterlife in heaven. They did not want people to be saved
Lord Jesus, who suffered and died for our salvation, cleanse us from all hypocrisy, self-righteousness, pride and malice. Open our eyes that we might properly understand the scriptures and know the power of God, so that we might at last be with you in your heavenly kingdom.
David Sidaway Harrogate Road, Ripon
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