Luke 20 verses 37 – 39 “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.” Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!”
In this passage we are reminded once again of the existence of a group called the Sadducees. In fact this group has been present all along for they would have made up a large part of the contingent called “the chief priests”. But unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. (Read Acts 23 verse 8) Instead they believed the resurrection was at odds with logical and practical thinking. They were, of course, only forerunners of many who even today also reject the idea that the dead will be raised.
It is also worth noting that even in our Lord’s time there were these differing opinions and different groups within the official establishment. There are always those who believe that any teaching about the Resurrection or the supernatural is nonsense.
These people approached Jesus with a proposed argument. They supposed the case of a woman whose husband had died without producing a son and heir, which would have been considered a tragedy in those times. The law required the deceased brother to marry the widow and produce a son to be the deceased’s heir. The law referred to, is found in Deuteronomy 25 verses 5 – 10. This was done, but without success for the brother died too. This occurred with all seven brothers. Then forgetting about the son and heir part, these Sadducees presented what they thought was an irrefutable argument against the resurrection. Look at verse 33. “Now then at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her.”
Whether these Sadducees were trying to catch Jesus or to make a theological point of their own, we do not know. But we do know that the question was of tremendous significance to Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah and the Saviour of the world.
Jesus points out that these Sadducees made two mistakes. What are they? This is for tomorrow, but for now it is good to remember that we should not be intimidated by anyone arguing against the truth. Their logic is almost always flawed, even if we ourselves cannot always see their mistakes. The truth as it is in Jesus is quite unassailable. Take fresh courage in that, and stand firm.