38 He is not God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to[e] Him.” (Today’s full scripture text: Luke 20:27-47)
Jesus takes on both the major “parties” of ancient Judea when the Sadducees come to test him with a disingenuous gotcha question about the Resurrection. Keeping in mind the status of women in that culture, they are asking him a legal question about a woman who was widowed seven times in her lifetime: when she and all seven husbands are resurrected, which husband will own her?
The answer the Lord gives, at minimum, states that in Heaven, sons and daughters will not be chattel their parents marry off and that men will not purchase wives for themselves the way they purchase horses. Most likely, it means that there are no weddings taking place at all, but the reason for this cites Angels, which to me suggests he’s subtly pointing out they are asking a legal question about a Heavenly country those of us on Earth know little about other than the character of its King.
Knowing the real reason they are asking this question is because they don’t believe in the Resurrection, Jesus quickly moves the conversation to that to topic, getting to the heart of the matter: God doesn’t see the way man sees. We see a dead body buried in the ground and turning to dust, but God lives outside of time. He sees the living, eternal soul, unclothed of its broken, corrupt body so he can robe it again in a new restored, incorruptible sinless body. To him, the “dead” person is not only alive, if they are His, they are completely well, have received blessing and mercy and been delivered, not abandoned.
More over, the Lord not only asserts the reality of the Resurrection, he makes his case from the five books of Moses, which is all that was in the Sadducees’ accepted scriptural cannon. They claimed the books of Moses did not support the doctrine of the Resurrection, but he is showing where it does support it from God’s vantage point. It was their own blindness and presumption that had caused them to misunderstand (or miss) what God means by, “I am the God of Abraham.” To see the text clearly, God had to reveal His word to them Himself.
Lord, when we approach your word, remove from us the blinders of presumption from our pre-existing beliefs and experiences. Open our eyes to the truth. Let us see the text clearly, meaning what you intended it to say. We thank you for this ministry of the Holy Spirit and we rejoice that you are with us always and have conquered the grave. Take our fear away and comfort our hearts if we are missing loved ones who are alive in you, but not longer with us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Father, amen.
There can be no gotcha questions for the Lord, Who knows all our hearts and intentions, and has perfect knowledge. I really appreciate the fact that you included a prayer to close your thoughts, and that you prayed in Jesus’ Name!
Yeah, and scripture shows what happens when men try, too. Thanks, Maria! 🙂
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