Sadducees were the materialists of Jesus’ time. They were focused on the hear and now. They thought that belief in spiritual reality and the afterlife were absurd. This is what their question to Jesus below is meant to highlight. They do not really expect Jesus to answer because it is absurd that if there was an afterlife one woman would be shared between seven husbands. The absurdity proved that there was no afterlife. Jesus exposes their question as a pseudo-question and the spontaneous response of ‘Amen’ from watching Pharisees is ironically refreshing.
27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “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 raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning 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.’[b] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
- What did Sadducees say?
- How many dead husbands did the woman above eventually have?
- What might husband #7 have thought as he got married?
- Why do many think that spiritual reality and thoughts of resurrection are fairy tales and deluded thinking?
- How is science limited in its scope to answer life’s questions by the nature of the discipline? Why do so many trust in science and technology?