Mark – God is On Our Side!
The Sadducees were a religious sect that did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They only read the five books of the law of Moses. They formed their own belief system based on their own interpretation of life here and now. And they got it wrong. It was sad-you-see for they missed the most important truth as they held onto traditions that were not of God based on their own opinion which came from misunderstanding. Jesus sets them straight. God is on our side and has a forever plan to be with us.
Mark 12, NLT
Discussion about Resurrection
18 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: 19 “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. 20 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 21 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died without children. Then the third brother married her. 22 This continued with all seven of them, and still there were no children. Last of all, the woman also died. 23 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”
24 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 25 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.
26 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 27 So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.”
This is the only place in Mark where the Sadducees are mentioned. This group accepted only the law of Moses as their religious authority; so, if a doctrine could not be defended from the first five books of the Old Testament, they would not accept it. They did not believe in the existence of the soul, life after death, resurrection, final judgment, angels, or demons (see Acts 23:8). Most of the Sadducees were priests and were wealthy. They considered themselves the “religious aristocrats” of Judaism and tended to look down on everybody else.
They brought a hypothetical question to Jesus, based on the law of marriage given in Deuteronomy 25:7–10. This woman had a series of seven husbands during her lifetime, all brothers, and all of whom had died. “If there is such a thing as a future resurrection,” they argued, “then she must spend eternity with seven husbands!” It seemed a perfect argument, as most arguments are that are based on hypothetical situations.
The Sadducees thought that they were smart, but Jesus soon revealed their ignorance of two things: the power of God and the truth of Scripture. Resurrection is not the restoration of life as we know it; it is the entrance into a new life that is different. The same God who created the angels and gave them their nature is able to give us the new bodies we will need for new life in heaven (1 Cor. 15:38ff.). Jesus did not say that we would become angels or be like the angels in everything, for God’s children are higher than the angels (John 17:22–24; 1 John 3:1–2). He said that in our resurrection bodies, we would be sexless like the angels, and therefore marriage would no longer exist. In the eternal state, where our new bodies are perfect and there is no death, there will be no need for marriage, procreation, and the continuance of the race.
The Sadducees were also ignorant of the Scriptures. They claimed to accept the authority of Moses, but they failed to notice that Moses taught the continuation of life after death. Once again, our Lord went back to Scripture (note Mark 2:25; 10:19; 12:10), in this case to the passage about the burning bush (Ex. 3). God did not tell Moses that He was (past tense) the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” The patriarchs were alive when God spoke those words to Moses; therefore, Moses does teach that there is life after death.
We must always go back to Scripture when we are not sure. Don’t just form an opinion and move on without understanding God’s Truth in His Word to us. This is how cults are formed leaving many confused with behaviors that are not of God. Be careful. Pray for God’s Truth to be understood as we read and listen to His Holy Spirit speak to our hearts, minds and souls.
A great pastor will always tell you to read God’ Word for yourself, don’t just come to church and allow one person to tell you what God’s Truth is. That’s just lazy. It’s “sad-you-see”.
Pray. Read. Meditate. Repeat.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We will never understand every word, but we will always look to you for help and guidance as we read, study and meditate on our word. We believe You. We want what You want for us. We follow YOU alone. We worship YOU alone. We trust in You for all of life. Continue to teach, challenge, convict, lead and guide us into all Truth.
In Jesus Name, Amen