And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, “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. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 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’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
Comment: There were in Judaism then, as there are today, various doctrinal differences. One of the major ones then was about an afterlife. The Sadducees believed in Jehovah God the great I AM, as the Creator and founder of Israel – but for human beings, they believed, death meant the end. The Pharisees believed in the afterlife. If you recall what Jesus taught although He had many straight things to say to the Pharisees, He, as to this argument, was a Pharisee. So the Sadducees brought to Him an extreme, almost laughable example, hoping to see Him flounder over this major doctrinal difference. A simplistic explanation of what Jesus said reads something like this. ‘You believe in the Great I AM. God said I AM (present tense) the God of the dead Fathers of your nation. And I said ‘I AM’ their God because those, although dead, are still very much alive.’
Prayer: Help me to live today with my feet on the ground, but with the future in my mind.