Read – Mark 12:18-34
The Sadducees were a group of wealthy, aristocratic priests who believed that the essential truths of Scripture were limited to the teachings of Moses found in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Because Moses did not explicitly teach about life after death and final judgment, the Sadducees rejected these teachings and ridiculed as morally and intellectually inferior those who believed that truth was found in all of the Old Testament Scriptures.
As teachers who denied the resurrection, their question to Jesus about marriage in the afterlife was dripping with insincerity. Jesus, however, sees past their intellectual arrogance. He tells them that they are wrong, that their knowledge of Scripture is insufficient, and that their understanding of God’s power over life and death is lacking. Jesus turns to books of Scripture that the Sadducees accept for proof of God’s power to give life to the dead. In stating that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob using the present tense, God reveals that these patriarchs are, in fact, living after death because He is the God of the living.
The Holy Scriptures…are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2Timothy 3:15-17) To think that we can change or judge the truth of Scripture to accommodate our beliefs is to claim that we know more than God Himself. We are the ones who must wrestle with the truths of Scripture and be changed by them.
In contrast to the insincerity of the Sadducees, the teacher who asks Jesus which commandment is most important is earnestly seeking the truth. Jesus praises him for his wise understanding and openness to belief. Imagine the earnest seeker’s joy to hear Jesus say, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
Reflection and Application: What truth of Scripture have I been tempted to reject because it is not consistent with my understanding of the world?
What is my position in relation to God’s kingdom?
How am I being changed to be more like Christ as I grow in understanding of His Word?
Pray: Lord God, sanctify me by your truth. Your Word is truth. (John 17:17)