14th July 2023
Read - Mark 12:18-27
Message Alan Burke
In this interaction between the Sadducees and Jesus, Jesus challenges them by saying “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” I don’t think I’ll crack out that verse the next time I’m engaging with someone when we disagree, but notice what Jesus does, because it is important for he takes them to the word of God. The word of God is where we need to go at every stage, everything we believe should be founded upon and agreeable to it, it has to be our rule and guide. While the Sadducees only believed that the Torah, the first five books of the bible often referred to as the book of Moses, which here the Sadducees speak of as the word of God, it is nonetheless the word of God and Jesus takes them to it to challenge their error.
Jesus takes them to the scriptures, there would have been no point of Jesus appealing to 1&2 Kings, ( 1 K17:17–24, 2 K 4:18–20, 32–37, or Job (19:25–27, Or the psalmist (16:8–11, 49:13–15, 71:20, Isaiah (26:19–20, 53:10–11) Ezekiel (37:7–10), Daniel (12:2–3), Hosea (6:1–2) or Jonah (1:17–2:2, 6–7, 10) but to name some of the clear references to the resurrection, Jesus takes them to the only part of the Scriptures that they believed in, the Torah, he took them to Exodus 3. From where God speaks to Moses from the bush. In the account of the bush we have Moses before the burning bush and the Lord speaks from the bush saying "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. He is not the God of the dead but of the living, you are badly mistaken.
Now tense is important in speech, for any of us, we don’t talk using past tense for things in the present, we don’t talk in present tense for things that have happened in the past. If God had said I was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, then it is in the past tense, therefore it is no longer the case. Whereas the tense that is used is present, I am, and not I was. In Exodus 3:6 And he (God) said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Ex 3:6). Jesus doesn’t giver them an option to respond but instead tells them He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” (Mk 12:27).
Badly mistaken, there are some things that people can try to debate all that they want when it comes to what they believe, they can say I think, I feel, I believe but the truth is the truth. The Sadducees were wrong that the torah did not teach the resurrection, for while it may not have been explicit it was implicitly taught, what we have is a good an necessary consequences of is taught in the Torah, our God is God of the living (Deut 5:26), while other gods are wood and stone our God. You know there is truth, there is truth that people may try to debate or ignore but it doesn’t chance the truth. To finish I want to take you to the hope of the resurrection that we have, for this world may be far from how we would want it or desire it to be, we may have had our hopes dashed, disappointed, we may have experienced trial, suffering, strife but this world, this life and the worst that we experience now will one day be but a distant memory, it in a sense is the only hell that we will ever experience. And for the unbeliever this life is the only heaven they will enjoy.
God’s word does not give us many details of that new creation and the resurrection, we may have questions, how old will I be, if I die at 95 will I still be a 95 year old, the truth is we don’t know, will I recognise my family and friends, most likely for the disciples were able to recognise Jesus resurrected body (Jn 20:11-18). But there is in truth much that we do not need to know, it is enough to know that the Lord says it will be better than what we enjoy now. He is trustworthy and we know that He only speaks the truth. The best thing about heaven is that Christ will be there, and He will satisfy our deepest longings for goodness, truth, beauty, and love. Knowing God And His Word Gives Us Hope And Comfort.
Q 98 What is prayer?
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, (Ps. 62:8) for things agreeable to his will, (1 John 5:14) in the name of Christ, (John 16:23) with confession of our sins, (Ps. 32:5–6, Dan. 9:4) and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies. (Phil. 4:6)