Mark: A Walk With Our Savior (Day 52)

Read Mark 12:18-27
   According to Old Testament law, when a man died without a son, his brother had to marry the widow and produce children to care for her and allow the family line to continue. The first son of this marriage was considered the heir of the dead man (Deuteronomy 25). 
   After the Pharisees and supporters of Herod failed to trap Jesus with their tax question, the Sadducees stepped in with a question they were sure would stump Him. This was a question that they had successfully used against the Pharisees, who could not come up with an answer. The Sadducees did not believe in life after death because the Pentateuch – Genesis through Deuteronomy – had no direct teaching about it, and the writings of Moses were the only Scriptures they followed. But Jesus was about to point out that Moses’ books support the idea of eternal life. 
   What life will be like after the resurrection is far beyond our ability to understand or imagine (Isaiah 64; 1 Corinthians 2). We need not be afraid of eternal life because of the unknowns, however. Instead of wondering what God’s coming kingdom will be like, we should concentrate on our relationship with Christ right now because in the kingdom, we will be with Him. If we learn to love and trust Christ now, we will not be afraid of what He has in store for us then. 
The Sadducee’s real question was not about marriage but about the doctrine of resurrection. Because the Sadducees believed only in the Pentateuch, Jesus quoted from Exodus 3:6 to prove that there is life after death. The Pharisees had overlooked this verse in their debates with the Sadducees. God spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob years after their deaths as if they still lived. God’s covenant with all people exists beyond death. 
   Jesus’ statement does not mean that people won’t recognize their spouses in the coming kingdom. It simply means that God’s new order will not be an extension of this life and that the same physical and natural rules won’t apply. Jesus’ comment was not intended to be the final word on marriage in heaven. Instead, this response was Jesus’ refusal to answer the Sadducees’ riddle and fall into their trap. Sidestepping their question about the much-married woman, He gave a definitive answer to their question about the resurrection.