27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died without children. 30 Also the second 31 and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.” 34 Jesus told them, “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are children of God, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 He is not the God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to him.” 39 Some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 And they no longer dared to ask him anything.
Have you ever thought about what heaven will be like? What will it be like to live in the presence of Christ Jesus? How will everything look and feel? Will relationships be different? Will I recognize my family and friends when I see them?
In today’s passage, the Sadducees asked Jesus a question about life after resurrection. Sadducees were priestly aristocrats who did not believe in resurrection or in angels. They insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law (the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible). Their question, however, wasn’t sincere, as they were trying to stump Jesus and publicly discredit Him. The Sadducees assumed that life in heaven would be an extension of their life on earth. Having an earthly perspective, they could not imagine a heaven that was beyond what their eyes could see. They lacked a true understanding of God’s power.
Jesus wasn’t surprised by their question. He knew exactly what their intentions were and what they needed. He revealed to them that the age to come would be much different from this earthly kingdom. For starters, Jesus said those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Also, they will no longer die, for they are like the angels. Our earthly bodies will be transformed into immortal bodies by the power of God.
But Jesus did not stop there. He also addressed the heart of the matter. He told them that God is not the God of the dead; rather, He is the God of the Living. Jesus used the written law to point them to the certainty of eternal life and resurrection for all who believe in Him. Our God knew thousands of years ago what these men would ask. He spoke the exact words that would refute them, and He made sure they were written by Moses in Exodus 3:6.
At times we may try to make heaven into an earthly image or experience that we can understand or imagine. But the truth is, our human mind cannot grasp the things God has prepared for us in heaven. The Bible says, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). What God has planned for us will be even better than the best we can ever imagine. There will be fullness of joy in the presence of Jesus! As wonderful as marriage is, it is merely a foretaste of the joys of the age to come. When the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. Now let us live our lives with our minds and hearts set on the joy and the hope of eternity!
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How will your life be different if you set your mind on eternity?
- How will this hope change your response to your circumstances?
- Would being heavenly-minded motivate you to share the gospel with your neighbors so they can share in this age to come?
- Who will you share this joy and hope with this week?
Give everyone in your family a note card and a pen. Have each person write down three names of people that they know that maybe does not attend church, or has had a difficult time, or has been sick or just someone that God has laid on your hearts. After writing these names on your note card, as a family commit to pray for each of those names for 7 days. Pray for God to show you how you can minister to them. It might be a visit. It might be a letter. It might be a meal. It might be to invite them to church with you as a family.
41.6% of the people in the world have never encountered the gospel of Jesus Christ. They live in spiritual darkness and without eternal hope. Pray Matthew 9:38, for God to send workers to the harvest field. https://joshuaproject.net/