Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Luke 20:27-47

v. 27-38 The Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection asked Jesus the following.  "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.  Now there were seven brothers.  The first one married a woman and died childless.  The second and then the third married her, and the same way the seven died, leaving no children.  Finally, the woman died too.  Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"  Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.  But those who considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.  They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.  But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'  He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive."

The Sadducees were another group of religious leaders who had some different beliefs than the Pharisees.  These two groups thought that their beliefs were correct and the other group was wrong so there was probably lots of debates between the two groups.  The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection so this question had probably stumped the Pharisees.  They only read Genesis through Deuteronomy and could not find any proof of the resurrection in those books.  It is sad to think that people have missed out on the other books of the bible, the entire book is meant to be read as a whole not picked through to back certain beliefs.  Deuteronomy 25:5 says that if a man dies without children then his brother should marry the woman to have children with her.  This is something that is unfamiliar in current times, but required back then.

The Sadducees were not concerned with what would happen to the woman, they wanted to corner Jesus.  Jesus got right to the meaning of the question, the resurrection.  Heaven does not have the same rules as earth.  Jesus is the bridegroom coming for the bride, I believe that will be the only marriage in Heaven.  I believe that we will be with our families in Heaven, but there will not be anyone getting married there.  Jesus used something that Moses said to prove His point.  Moses calls the Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  So how can God be the God of the dead?  He considers them living, just in a different form.  Jesus knew that they respected Moses and used Moses' words to prove His point.  People will ask you tough questions that you might not have an answer to, do your best at answering them.  Then maybe we are supposed to just listen to them and show that we care.  There may be an underlining issue that they can not express in words and our compassion may deem the questions unnecessary

 v. 41-47 Jesus responded to the Sadducees, "How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?  David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.  David calls Him, 'Lord' How then can He be his son?"  Jesus told His disciples, "Beware of the teachers of the law.  They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.  They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers.  Such men will be punished most severely."

The Sadducees were getting a tough question when Jesus asked how Christ is David's son when he called Him Lord.  They knew that the Christ would be a descendant of David, but they did not know that He would be more than just a man.  Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that David knew that Christ would be both human and divine.  Jesus was David's Lord as God and David's son as man.  If we do not believe Jesus is who He says He is then other spiritual questions are insignificant.  Jesus was warning His disciples to steer clear of the religious leaders.  They were proud and wanted praise from the people, yet their hearts were hard as stone and they exploited the weak and helpless.  I love how The Message says, "the longer their prayers, the worse they get."  What would it look like if some church people fought over the last seats in the front row?  Do you know anyone who thinks they have the right to the most prominent seat in the room?  If Jesus was there they might want a better seat than Him!  I believe God wants to bless us in life and it's ok for preachers to have nice things, but it gets to a point where things get out of balance.  One house is great, but having three or four in exclusive neighborhoods is an entirely different matter because that is not necessary.  Jesus says that these men will be punished most severely.  Their hearts turned away from the very people Jesus was trying to help, they misguided the people with their deceptive hearts.  When I met my husband he said that he liked me and how I treated people.  It was important for him to marry a woman who treated people good.  He had gone out with some women who were mean towards others and he did not care to be around people like that.  We should treat everyone with kindness and respect.  The king and the cleaning lady are on the same level.  Religious deeds can never cancel out sin.  It makes me sad to think that some will use prayer as a sort of weapon against God instead of for Him. 

  • Jesus gave warning to all disciples to beware of leaders who violated God word
  • watch how the leaders behaved
  • look past their words to their actions
  • they let pride seep into their souls
  • they loved attention and praise from men
  • their arrogance in their placement in society
  • treatment of widows and the helpless
  • took money to keep their lifestyle intact at the expense of the poor
  • betrayed God's gift of pray to make themselves look and sound holy
  • leading others to follow in their footsteps

"Christ reads them their doom in a few words: These shall receive a more abundant judgment, a double damnation, both for their abuse of the poor widows, whose houses they devoured, and for their abuse of religion, and particularly of prayer, which they had made use of as a pretence for the more plausible and effectual carrying on of their worldly and wicked projects; for dissembled piety is double iniquity."                                                                                                               Matthew Henry

"In every age there have been men of corrupt minds, that have endeavoured to subvert the fundamental principles of revealed religion."                                                                 Matthew Henry

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