Mar 25 // Day 32
Luke 20: 27-47
Jesus has an interaction with some Sadducees, a Jewish sect whose teaching focussed on the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) and did not believe in life after death (a concept more prevalent in the rest of the Old Testament). Here they create a rather ludicrous example based on the Old Testament Law which stated that if a woman’s husband died and she had no children, the late husband’s brother should marry her to ensure that she is cared for (Deut 5: 5-10). The Sadducees tell the story as such that none of the seven brothers has a special claim to this woman. How could people possibly come back from the dead if it isn’t even clear who their wife would be (v.33)? To them, it all seems rather far-fetched.
Jesus’ response is to correct their assumption that the age that is to come is anything like this present age. Marriage is not a permanent part of God’s eternal plan and, as such, the Sadducees have missed the point! For those of us that will join Jesus in future glory, we will be God’s children (finally fully stepping into our identity v.38) and life will be unrecognisable! By mentioning the Old Testament figures of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, Jesus deliberately uses an example from the Pentateuch that the Sadducees built their faith on to expose their wrong-thinking.
Jesus quotes from Psalm 110. This Psalm is one of the so-called ‘royal psalms’ speaking of God’s promise to King David that one of his descendants (a ‘son’ of David) would establish an everlasting Kingdom (2 Sam 7:12-13). Jesus speaks here of the divine mystery that the God of the universe should come in human form, that David’s Lord should become David’s son. Whilst the Jews were expectant of the coming Messiah, as promised in such psalms and also through the Old Testament prophets, they had not understood the full scope of what was to come. This Messiah wasn’t simply to be a leader anointed by God to re-establish the political kingdom of Israel, this Messiah was to be God himself, Immanuel (God with us).
This Messiah would lead people back to the heart of God. In contrast, Jesus warns about the hollowing effects of a religious heart (as shown by many leaders of the day) – a heart that does the right things on the outside but on the inside is full of corruption and self-importance (v.45-47).
Thanks for joining us today! Remember you can use the tools we’ve provided in the Reading Plan to help you engage with each passage of scripture.