September 11, 2014
READ: Luke 20:27-40
So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him (v.38).
The Sadducees were more interested in politics than religion—accepting only the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) as their Scripture. Being materialists in their thinking, they didn’t believe in angels, nor in the resurrection (Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8).
The Sadducees gave Jesus a hypothetical situation (Luke 20:28-32) involving levirate marriage—where the surviving brother of a childless, deceased man would marry the widow to provide for her needs and preserve the deceased brother’s family line (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). This showed that a resurrection was both impossible and absurd (Luke 20:33).
Jesus responded, “Marriage is for people here on earth” (v.34), meaning that while it’s supposed to be permanent on earth, it’s not a forever fixture in God’s eternal purpose (v.35). The exclusiveness of marriage will be replaced by perfect fellowship with God and all believers (Matthew 8:11; Revelation 21:1-4). Since there will be no death and therefore no need to replenish the human race, there will be no need for marriage and procreation. When people are resurrected, they will be transformed into a glorious immortality like that of the angels (Luke 20:36).
Then, citing the writings of Moses (v.37), whom the Sadducees revered as their authority, Jesus referred to the burning bush episode (Exodus 3:1-10), where God told Moses, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (3:6). Moses wrote of God being their God in the present tense, “long after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had died” (Luke 20:37), to prove that the patriarchs were still living (v.38). With only one passage from Moses, Jesus affirmed what the Sadducees denied—the existence of angels and the reality of the resurrection (v.36).
365-day plan› Luke 22:1-13
Read John 5:28-29 to see what it reveals about the resurrection of two groups of people—those who rise to experience eternal life, and those who rise to experience judgement.
How does Luke 20:38 help as you grapple with your own mortality? How does the way Jesus handled His doubters’ questions give you encouragement for talking with the doubters in your life?