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Jewish Rulers Seek to Ensnare Jesus.

(Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.)

Subdivision B.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection.

A Matt. XXII. 23–33; B Mark XII. 18–27; C Luke XX. 27–39.

a 23 On that day there came { b come} unto him c certain of the the Sadducees, they that { b who} say there is no resurrection [As to the Sadducees, see p. 71. We may regard their attitude toward Christ as expressed by their leader Caiaphas, see p. 528]; and they asked him, saying, 19 Teacher, Moses wrote unto us [See Deut. xxv. 5, 6. The object of this law was to preserve families. But the custom was older than the law—Gen. xxxviii. 6–11], c that b If a man's brother die, c having a wife, and he be childless, { b and leave a wife behind him, and leave no child,} that his brother should take his { c the} wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. a Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were c therefore a with us seven brethren: and the first c took a wife, a married and deceased, b and dying left no seed; { c and died childless;} a and, having no seed left his wife unto his brother: b 21 And a 26 In like manner the second also, b took her, and died, leaving no seed behind him; and the third likewise: c took her; a unto the seventh. c and likewise the seven also left no children, { b left no seed.} c and died. 32 Afterward 601 b Last of all a 27 And after them all, b the woman also died. a 28 In the resurrection therefore whose wife shall she be of the seven? { b of them?} for the seven a all had her. b to wife. [This was evidently a favorite Sadducean argument against the resurrection. On the assumption that the marital state is continued after the resurrection, it makes the doctrine of a resurrection appear ridiculous, because, seemingly, it involves difficulties which even brothers could hardly settle amicably, and which even God would have in a sense to settle arbitrarily.] c 34 And { a 29 But} Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do not err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. b Is it not for this cause that ye err, that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? [The relevancy of these statements will be discussed in the treatment of verse 38 below.] a 30 For c the sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: b 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, a in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven. c 36 for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection. [This favorite argument of the Sadducees could not be successfully answered by the Pharisees because they could not refute the assumption that marriage is continued in the future world. But Jesus does refute it on his own authority.] a 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, c that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the place concerning the Bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, b have ye not read in the book of Moses, a that which was spoken unto you by God, b how God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? c 38 Now a God is not c the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. b ye do 602greatly err. [The disbelief of the Sadducees manifested itself in a triple form, for they denied the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits (Acts xxiii. 8), but the basal principle of their infidelity was the denial of spirits. It was, as it were, the tree trunk from which their other errors sprang as branches. If there were such things as spirits, it was not worth while to deny that there was an order of them known as angels. If man had a spirit which could survive his body, it was reasonable to believe that God, having so fashioned him that a body is essential to his activity and happiness, would in some manner restore a body to him. Jesus therefore does not pursue the argument until he has proved a resurrection; but rests when he has proved that man has a spirit. Jesus proves that man has a spirit by a reference from the Pentateuch, that part of Scripture which the Sadducees accepted as derived from God through Moses. The reference shows that God was spoken of and spoke of himself as the God of those who were, humanly speaking, long since dead. But the Sadducees held that a dead man had ceased to exist, that he had vanished to nothingness. According to their view, therefore, God had styled himself the God of nothing, which is absurd. The Sadducees could not thus have erred had they known or understood the significance of this Scripture, and they could not have doubted the resurrection had they known the absolute power with which God deals with material such as that of which the body is formed. See verses 24 and 39 supra.] a 33 And when the multitude heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. c 39 And certain of the scribes answering said, Teacher, thou hast well said. [Some of the scribes of less bitter spirit could not refrain from expressing their admiration at the ease with which Jesus answered an argument which their own wisdom could not refute.] 603

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