(A commentary on Mark 12: 18-27)
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants. So the second married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise. And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died. At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, (the) God of Isaac, and (the) God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.” (Mark 12: 18-27)
Now it’s the Sadducees turn to try and stump Jesus.
The Sadducees, who were a group of religious leaders from the upper classes in Jesus’ time, did not believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead to eternal life. They could not conceive of heaven beyond what they could see with their naked eyes!
Jesus is patient and answers their contrived question. But the greatest portion of his answer is spent on the importance of eternal life, which he came to reveal and make happen.
The Sadducees might have used their conversation as a means of tricking Jesus but the fact is that it’s part of the human condition to think about our mortality and perhaps even to question eternal life.
I believe there are two truths that we need to consider. They are both based on the present day.
First is the belief we did not begin to exist by chance but according to the deliberate plan of the Father who gave birth to us, who alone can create us. The very act of calling God our Father is to recognize that we have a purposeful beginning.
That belief opens us to the reality that we are not to arbitrarily live our lives but are called to bring to fulfillment God’s kingdom on earth as it is already in heaven. Therefore, to do the will of the Father is to recognize that we have a meaningful end.
So now the second belief. How many times in your life have good things happened to you? Sometimes they are profound – as in the birth of a child. Sometimes they are captured in the beauty of a sunset, or the ocean, or the view from a mountain top.
Now tie it all together with today’s scripture when Jesus used the present tense verb when he says: “I AM the God of Abraham ., , he is not God of the dead but of the living.”
He IS there with us, every step of the way. Through joys and sorrows, through the light filled moments of life and through its shadows. He does that because He loves you and me. Every present, ever loving, ever watching of us.
If you believe that. If that is part of the power of your life then why would we ever imagine that God would stop loving us and blessing us when our mortal life is over?
Prayer of The Day
“May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we too shall begin to look not at what is seen but at what is not seen. May he open the eyes that are concerned not with the present but with what is yet to come, may he unseal the heart’s vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure throughout the unending succession of ages.” (Prayer of Origen, 185-254 AD)
Through Christ’s resurrection we, too, can rise again to eternal life with God
The Holy Spirit reveals to us the eternal truths of God’s unending love and the life he desires to share with us for all eternity. Paul the Apostle, quoting from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4; 65:17) states: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). The promise of paradise – heavenly bliss and unending life with an all-loving God – is beyond human reckoning. We have only begun to taste the first-fruits! Do you believe the Scriptures and do you know the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and who gives us the assurance of everlasting life as well?