7715 - The Sadducees


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Let’s focus upon Luke 20:27-40 today. Listen:

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. "Teacher," they said, "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 in 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 are considered worthy of taking part in this 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."

Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!" And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Friend, who are these Sadducees who have come to question Jesus?

The priests and scribes exercised both political and spiritual power and leadership in Nation Israel. During the Maccabean period of history a split occurred in their ranks.

One group who were the well-to-do, aristocrats among the ranks became known as the Sadducees. This group of priest held control of the high priesthood and thus, the control of the Sanhedrin.

The Pharisees included most scribes, teachers and lesser priest over the synagogues. As such they had the day-to-day interaction with the people.

These parties continued to cooperate as necessary in the leadership of the Nation of Israel.

Both parties were very legalistic, but the basis for their legalism differed.

The Sadducces acknowledged only the written law of old, and rejected the traditional interpretations, which had been handed down by generations.

The Pharisees adopted and held onto these interpretations as being the basis for life.

The Sadducees rejected the idea of resurrection and future life after death. They also rejected the belief of angels or other spirit beings, other than God himself.

The Pharisees believed in all these points — resurrection, future life, angelic and spiritual host.

This passage is the only mention of the Sadducees in the book of Luke.

The Sadducees and Pharisees were mutually opposed to Jesus. They were fearful that the Romans would terminated the nation of Israel and take away their place of importance (John 11:48).

The Pharisees had challenged Jesus often during his ministry. Here the Sadducees were doing the same. And like the Pharisees, they were being deceptive in asking about the resurrection since they didn’t believe there would be a resurrection.

Jesus dispelled their basic premise by pointing out that the resurrection life is not a continuation of life on earth; but rather a totally new life and a new lifestyle. It is eternal — no more death, no more tears, no more sorrow. Rather a place of eternal peace and joy in the presence of the Triune God.

Jesus drove home the point that there is resurrection and that only those considered worthy by God would be admitted to his kingdom.

Perhaps Jesus had in mind that in those next few days he would experience physical death followed by resurrection. This was his purpose in coming to earth — to make possible the way in which people, by faith in Jesus, could be considered by God worthy to participate in his eternal, heavenly kingdom.

What wonderful mercy and grace. Praise holy God!