Over the next few weeks in our Rooted in Christ Study, we’ll be looking at some of the favorite passages from our staff at St. Matthew’s UMC. These are some of the parts of the Bible to mean to most … Continue reading
Today in Mark, we look at Chapter 12:18-27
18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; 21 and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. 23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
Once again, we see another group coming to test Jesus based off something that they didn’t even really believe. The Sadducees come asking Him a question about the resurrection when, in fact, they didn’t believe in the resurrection.
First, why didn’t they believe in the resurrection? There were lots of different divisions of the religious leaders in Jesus day, but one of the greatest divides was between that of the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They were both religious leaders, but the Sadducees were more associated with the Temple and thePharisees were more associated with local synagogues.
There was also a disagreement among them over the authority of their scripture. The Pharisees believed that all the Old Testament was inspired and had authority while the Sadducees only believed that to be true of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah, the Books of Moses.
And that’s why they didn’t believe in the resurrection, because nowhere in their belief system did they find the resurrection mentioned. Now it’s found in other places in the Old Testament (and remember, as Christians, we are going to read the Old Testament in a different way, we see evidence of resurrection and eternity there).
Ok, in this text a couple of things to be aware of. First, the business of brother’s marrying the widow of their brother. That was the custom of the day, so they were trying to carry for this accepted religious practice of the day into eternity.
In this Jesus says, there will not be marriage in heaven. So, what is heaven like? No one really knows, Scripture doesn’t really say, other than to say it will be amazing. A few things here. First, notice that Jesus DID NOT say that we will be angels in heaven. He said we will be LIKE, but will NOT BE. Angels are created beings, just like humans are created being. We do not become angels in heaven. That’s common cultural misconceptions. Jesus says that will be BE LIKE angels, not BECOME them. Scripture does not say that we become angels when we did.
So, what does it mean to be like angels? Good question. Not really sure. It is understood to mean that we are part of God’s heavenly court. We have access to God. We are part of the group that worships God. We are accepted fully into God’s kingdom. Like the angels. Paul attempts to answer this question of what it will be like 1 Corinthians 15 and the best way that he can describe it is “spiritual bodies.” We don’t know what that means other than it will a body and it will be different.
Ok, another question this raises is will we know each other in heaven? My belief is yes, based off other passages. After death, Saul recognized Samuel. The Disciples recognized Moses and Elijah. I believe that we will know each other in heaven. It will be different; it will not be exactly like here on earth. But in some way, we will know each other.
Remember from this passage, as well as yesterday’s to think about how we approach Jesus. In both of these passages, people did not come to Jesus for wisdom or to have legitimate questions answered, they came to test Him and trip Him. They weren’t really seeking His face.
Let’s not make that same mistake. Let’s seek His face. And in doing that we will find all we need.
Wednesday we’ll look at Mark 12:28-34.
If you’d like to receive these thoughts by email, be sure to click here and join my email devotional group!
I asked what does eternal life look like. I didn’t ask what does heaven look like.
Now, Andy, aren’t they the same thing? Sort of.
What do you mean by that?
Let me share one of my favorite passages of scripture with you today, John 17:1-3:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Jesus is praying to His Father and he says – this is eternal life – they know the only true God, and Jesus Christ who you have sent.
That’s eternal life. Knowing God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. That’s eternal life. And that starts now. That starts today. That starts the moment we know God through Jesus Christ.
Now, heaven in a place, an eternal place where will know God and be with Him forever. Heaven is a place of resurrection and spiritual bodies. Heaven is a place, if you reading this, we haven’t gotten to yet.
Eternal life is. Being found in God. Knowing God living in God. Breathing in God. Living with God every day of our lives.
That’s eternal life.
And we know that NOW. Today. In this moment.
Every time in our lives that experience God and His grace, every time we experience the moving of the Holy Spirit, every time we know God; through worship, prayer, scripture, service, through the ways that we experience Him, that’s a foretaste of heaven.
That’s a glimpse of heaven. That’s eternal life. And we can know that now.
Today, look for those glimpses of heaven. Look for eternal life in your life today. Look for those moments when you can experience God. That’s eternal life. Knowing the Father through the Son.
No matter where we are today, may we know eternal life.
Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.