You have probably heard about the over-zealous group of people in the Bible known as the Sadducees. But if you are not sure who they are, the Gospel of Matthew has it that they are a group of religious leaders who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.
That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead – Matthew 22:3, NIV.
These same arrogant people came to Jesus and began to ask him an impossible question about marriage after resurrection. Relying on the provisions of the laws of Moses on the responsibility of a man to his deceased childless brother, they contrived a theoretical case of seven brothers who had died childless and who had in turn been married to the same woman.
Let us read the encounter with the Sadducees together:
Matthew 22, NIV: 23…They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”
Wait a minute, I thought the Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection from the dead? How come they were asking Jesus about “who will marry who” in the resurrection?
Obviously, they must have had an ulterior motive just like their counterpart, the Pharisees, who wanted to “trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested” by asking Him the question of whether or not tax should be paid to the government authority of the day (see Matthew 22:15-22).
Gratefully, Jesus caught them in the act and He gave them the profound answers that inspired this post.
29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 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 (emphasis mine).
How I love the wisdom of Jesus in tackling knotty situations!
There you have it. According to Jesus, the mistakes of the Sadducees are in two folds: Not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God.
What do you think?