Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Matthew 22:23-33 (NRSV)
The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.”
Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.
In our text for today, a group of Sadducees approached Jesus with both an improbable and a hypothetical question regarding the resurrection. Since they did not believe in the resurrection, their question was an attempt to make Jesus look foolish in the eyes of the public. Their question involved a woman whose husband had died leaving her childless. According to the Law of Moses, the widow’s brother-in-law had to marry her so that his deceased brother might have an heir. In this hypothetical situation, a bizarre twist of fate caused her to marry subsequent brothers-in-law (six in all) who all died with their mission unfulfilled. The question of whose wife she would be at the resurrection ended their ridiculous query. It might have been an effective trick question had they not asked it of the man [Jesus] who would later say, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
In responding to the Sadducees’ question, Jesus said that God is the God of the living, not the God of the dead. Jesus’ reference to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was in the present tense, as they were and are still alive. The Sadducees had sought to embarrass Jesus with their trick question, but it backfired. For the Sadducees it was a bad day, but for those of us who are in Christ, it is the core of the good news message—Christ Jesus is the God of the living, and nothing (not even death) can separate us from our God.
Eternal God of the resurrection, we praise you for the gift of everlasting salvation you make available to all who believe. We thank you that no circumstance or situation, not even death, can separate us from you. Amen.
Go with God.