We want to be the children of the resurrection. We want to know God now. We want to know God even after the horror of our death. For when the resurrection occurs we will see God. In the meantime, before the Resurrection, to God all who are worthy of that age are alive.
As disciples of Jesus, we need an understanding of the resurrection. It is through this question from the Sadducees that we gain a better understanding of the resurrection. As we examine Jesus’ answer to the question we learn much about the resurrection. It turns out that faith in God is what gets us to the age of the Resurrection. For each of us to have faith in God through Jesus Christ is essential to be children of God, to be children of the resurrection.
Not only does our belief in God matter, but so does our living of life. I remember growing up hearing this wonderful phrase, “My child does not do that.” It was the parent of the child who was bullying who said this statement! It was the parent of the child who acted up in class who said this statement. But for us, God corrects us when he tells us directly, “My child does not do that.” God knows who we are and how we live. It is through living our belief in God that we live God’s way. We understand this as we examine the Sadducees’ question and Jesus’ answer.
A. Some Sadducees have a question for Jesus (20:27-33)
a. Aligned with the aristocrats & the priestly caste
b. Accepted only the Pentateuch & rejected oral tradition
c. Denied belief in the resurrection and angels
d. Emphasized free will over determinism
2. Levirate Marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
a. Carrying on the deceased, childless brother’s name
b. Ensured the widow had property, and a place, in society
3. Seven brothers and one woman
4. First brother through the 7th brother married the same woman, yet she remained childless
5. In the resurrection, whose wife will the woman be?
6. Gotcha! Is the phrase I think the Sadducees have in their minds upon asking this question. For when a group doesn’t believe in the resurrection, this question becomes a trick question. Why not trick Jesus with this question! His inability to answer the question would just prove that the Sadducees are correct in their thinking.
B. Jesus has an answer for these Sadducees (20:34-38)
1. As people belong to this age, they marry and are given in marriage
2. But in that age, the age of the resurrection, they do not marry nor given in marriage
3. In the age of the resurrection
a. They cannot die anymore
b. They are like the angels – a higher way of life
c. They are children of the resurrection since they are children of God
4. There is the fact of the dead being raised
a. God spoke to Moses through the burning bush (Exodus 3)
b. Moses speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob (they having been dead for over 400 years)
5. God is the God of the living
a. The living are those considered worthy of a place in that age
b. Those considered worthy are children of God
6. Will we be children of the resurrection? That depends on if we have become children of God! When we place our faith in God through Jesus Christ, we see how faithful God is. For God is faithful, whether we believe in him or not. Yet, when we do believe we become children of God. We start living a higher way of life. Like the angels live a higher way of life through their obedience and praise to God, we live a higher way of life through our obedience and praise to God.
Jesus answered the Sadducees’ question. Jesus cannot be tricked by their question. Really, Jesus cannot be tricked by our questions. For when we question Jesus, he is able to help us get to a deeper place in our faith. He corrects us, he stumps us, and Jesus makes us think. But if we want to be children of the resurrection, then we accept Jesus’ correction, think through his stumping of us, and think about what faith in Jesus means.
The age of the resurrection is not upon us, yet. So we can still become children of God, children of the resurrection. Will we place faith in God through Jesus? I don’t know about you, but being alive to God sounds a whole lot better than not being alive to God.