Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything.
YOU HAVE ANSWERED WELL. This is what some scribes say to Jesus after handling the issue of the resurrection. The scribes probably belong to the Pharisaic group that believes in the resurrection.
The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection because it is not explicitly taught in the Torah. They recognize only the Torah as inspired; they do not take seriously the prophets, the writings, or the rest of Scripture. They come to argue with Jesus in the temple precincts invoking the levirate marriage. The Sadducees are only interested in the here and now. They must make good of this life now because there is no life after death.
In contrast, the Pharisees believe in the resurrection of the dead. They read the other parts of Scripture. Though they use the Palestinian canon, they may be aware of the Alexandrian canon (Egypt) that includes the 2 Maccabees that commends praying for the souls of the dead.
Jesus argues using the Torah, particularly Exodus, to refute the Sadducees. He unmasks their failure to interpret well, “I am… the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6), and adds, “He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.