The Sadducees also came to Jesus. Since they claim that there is no resurrection, they questioned him in this way, “Master, in the Scriptures Moses gave us this law: If anyone dies and leaves his wife but no children, his brother must take the woman, and, with her, have a baby, who will be considered the child of his deceased brother. Now, there were seven brothers. The first married a wife, but he died without leaving any children. The second took the wife, and he also died, leaving no children. The same thing happened to the third. In fact, all seven brothers died, leaving no children. Last of all, the woman died. Now, in the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife? For all seven brothers had her as wife.” Jesus replied, “ is this not the reason you are mistaken, you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry, but are like the angels in heaven. Now, about the resurrection of the dead, have you never had thoughts about the burning bush in the book of Moses? God said to Moses: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are totally wrong.”
POINT OF REFLECTION
The pick-up points of this gospel reading is quite perplexing and needs prior understanding about the social standing and beliefs of the Sadducees. Sadducees were group of early elites that do not believe in resurrection after the physical death, anchored their beliefs on Torah, the first five books of the Bible, and values good relationship with the ruler to further their beliefs and tradition. This group is the liberal version of Pharisees deep stuck on the three major areas: Their of tradition, their view of supernatural, and their views on divine sovereignty and human responsibilities.
In the first place, the gospel is a question of resurrection to loosen the credit of Jesus as He immerse into the lives of human almost completely enslave of sins. They wanted to remove Jesus’ crown of popularity by letting people see that Jesus teaching is moot and not in accordance with the Laws, Torah. In other words, this somehow tries to drag Jesus down of the perplexing level of their question. Who return answer that truly caught them by surprise?
Because Sadducees does not believe resurrection, they question Jesus whose wife would a woman become after resurrection having married all the seven brothers here on earth? Jesus answer was so direct telling they were wrong and did not understand the Bible or the power of God. The logical thinking of the Sadducees was limited only on “the here and now” because they do not believe life after death. Their understanding on the Mosaic Law in the time of Moses which allowed the second brother to take the woman with no child of the first was a perpetuation of the Israelite’s tribe by way of the child. They never taught of life after death. That is why Jesus said they were wrong.
In this gospel, resurrection is real not even in the accounts of the New Testament but even more in the account of the Old Testament which was maliciously interpreted by the Sadducees in favor of their beliefs, practices and traditions. Jesus clearly speak to us, Christians, that there is life after death in Him. The mind of the Sadducees was contained in the loop of a single age and life tomorrow is a continuation of today.
There are two important ages to consider in this regard, the so called as “this age” and “that ages.” The “this age” is our life here and now. While the “that ages” is the resurrected life as the son of God. Sadducees mind was loop on “this age” and does not understand life on “that age.”
Death is the gate way of resurrection unto Jesus as the son of the Father in heaven. Notice that early believer happily give-up their lives in the works of Jesus because they knew that they would be resurrected back to life like angels of God in heaven.
Finally, while Sadducees was trying to fall down Jesus using very difficult question that even them does understand, Jesus made it not into their favor. Instead, He turns it into an opportunity to further the cause of the Father’s kingdom by clarifying and assuring the reality that death is the gateway of resurrection.