Praise the Lord! Another week of life starting - you never know if this will be your last - Make the most of it!
Chapter 20 of Luke is a real picture into the life of Jesus and what He had to put up with while walking this Earth. You will remember that from the moment He was born, there was opposition (Matt. 2:13). Here we are near the end of Jesus' life, and people are still trying to kill Him. There are several groups attacking Jesus, trying to trap Him in His words. First it was the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the Elders (20:1,19); Secondly, it was a group of "spies" faithful to Rome (v.20), who would try to trap Jesus in a question about taxes. If they wanted to arrest Jesus, they would have to get Him to say something against the ruling authorities. Again, Jesus eluded their trap.
Now, in today's reading, we have a third group - the Sadducees, who were real sticklers for the Law of God, especially the first 5 books of the Bible - the Pentateuch. What was unique about them, was that they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They asked Jesus a question from the Law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10), regarding marriage in the afterlife. If a woman had 7 husbands, whose wife will she be at the resurrection? Jesus's answer reveals a lot about the next life:
- vss. 34-35: There will be no marriage in the next "age". Marriage is only for this "age", to further the human species. (read the New Living Translation - it is pretty clear). You will have no spouse in Heaven. The relationships of husband and wife are replaced with the relationships of "sons and daughters of God", brothers and sisters in Christ, with one Father.
- vss. 35-36: One must be counted worthy of seeing the next life, and the resurrection of the dead. The only way that is possible is to be a "child of God", born from above supernaturally through the new birth. When you are "born again" or "anew" you become similar to an angel, in the respect that you are now an eternal being, who will live forever, (Note: you do not become an angel, you become eternal like an angel) in other words, you will never die. You are children of the resurrection, raised to new life (See vs. 36 in NLT)
- vss. 37-38: Jesus uses a passage the Sadducees were very familiar with to prove His point - (Exodus 3:2-6). God is the God of the living, not the dead. He displayed that when God revealed Himself to Moses, He was and is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who although long dead in the flesh, were still very much alive. In God, His chosen ones live forever. Eternal life is Now!
- vss. 39-40: The teachers of the Law who heard Jesus' answer to the Sadducees were very impressed! And that answer finally stopped the interrogation.
vss. 41-44: Now Jesus will ask them a question from a very important text regarding Himself - How can the Messiah be both a "Son of David", and "David's Lord" at the same time? In quoting Psalm 110:1, Jesus left them to ponder this seeming contradiction. We know today, because of the scriptures given to us, that Jesus came as a man from the line of David, and He came from the Father as the Lord of all creation! Because of our Bibles, and 2,000 years of church history, we can know for sure that Jesus is both Son of David, and Lord of all. (see Rev. 22:16).
vss. 45-46: Jesus closes this chapter with a very strong warning to His followers to be aware of those who teach the Law for their own benefit and glory.
Friends, I want you to see how this chapter started - Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Gospel in and around the temple. He was just minding His business, doing what He came to do. Then, there was a long list of people who lined up to challenge what He was teaching, and catch Him in some trap, to prove He was a false teacher. At the end of the chapter, after all the interruptions and challenges, Jesus is back teaching the people, victorious over His foes! What a great picture of Jesus winning the battle! He is the perfect teacher, the One you can trust and put your hope in. He has all the answers, the best theology, the perfect understanding of life, salvation, and the afterlife. If you want answers...read His word, and go to Jesus!
Have a great week!