From Mark 12-13
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Jesus gets presented with a problem. I guess some suspected he wouldn’t be able to handle it or perhaps they could use his answer to their advantage in their debates with other Jews.
18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. (Mk 12.18a)
The Sadducees by the way only believed the Pentateuch (Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) was authoritative as scripture. Because these scriptures don’t obviously refer to resurrection, they didn’t believe in resurrection. They had arguments with the Pharisees who believed the rest of the Old Testament was scripture and because they do teach resurrection (e.g. Dan 12.2; Ps 16.10; cf. Acts 13.35). So Jesus here is being dragged into an intra Jewish debate on the authority of various scriptures and resurrection.
18b And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” (Mk 12.18b-23)
If an older brother died it was the responsibility of the next brother in line to have sex with the widow so his family line could be continued (Dt 25.5). They are presenting Jesus with an argument that is obviously ridiculous.
24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.” (Mk 12:24–27)
God spoke to him saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ God says this implying they are still alive and they are. They shouldn’t have tried to out scripture Jesus. Jesus also has a vested interest in resurrection…
Jesus knows the scriptures through and through. He doesn’t necessarily involve himself in petty arguments. Even on the terms people present to him he comes out on top. I would have missed the significance of this statement had it not been for Jesus’ help. Jesus helps us read scripture better.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.