November 8: The Sadducees Take a Turn: Different Angle, Same Result (Matthew 22:23-33)
This Sunday Josh C. will continue the Christians and Culture series at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project.
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. (ESV)
In the second of three, back-to-back attempts to confound Jesus, the Sadducees have their turn, and while their particular approach is different than that of their Pharisee peers, the goal is is the same, as is the result. This passage, which at first blush is about marriage, is really a display of the wisdom of Jesus, the folly of challenging Him, and the reality of the resurrection. Let's pray that understanding this now would lead to the same astonishment it did to those original hearers.
Review and Apply:
1. How were the Sadducees and Pharisees different, and what brought them together? Where might we see that dynamic in our world today, and how can we benefit from recognizing it?
2. The Sadducees use a hypothetical situation about the resurrection to trip Jesus up, though they didn't even believe in the resurrection. What were they trying to accomplish, and what are some parallel sorts of questions we might encounter today? How might recognizing this sort of disingenuous questioning help us in our response?
3. Will our current marriages continue in heaven? Why or why not? Either way, how do our current marriages relate to, or teach us about our time in eternity with Jesus?
4. How does this passage support belief in the resurrection? What are some other supports for it that you might share if you were asked to defend it?