That same day Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Jesus. They asked, “Teacher, Moses said, If a man who doesn’t have children dies, his brother must marry his wife and produce children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married, then died. Because he had no children he left his widow to his brother. The same thing happened with the second brother and the third, and in fact with all seven brothers. Finally, the woman died. At the resurrection, which of the seven brothers will be her husband? They were all married to her.” Jesus responded, “You are wrong because you don’t know either the scriptures or God’s power. At the resurrection people won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like angels from God. As for the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what God told you, I’m the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living.” Now when the crowd heard this, they were astonished at his teaching (Matthew 22:23-33, Common English Bible).
When I read the lesson for today I can actually place the Sheldon Cooper character The Big Bang Theory into the dialogue. In one episode Sheldon is having a minor argument with Leonard and he accuses Leonard of engaging in “reductio ad absurdum.” He goes on to explain that “reductio ad absurdum” is “the logical fallacy of extending someone’s argument to ridiculous proportions and then criticizing the result.”
It is my first thought when I read the Sadducees and asked Jesus their “question.” Why would it be necessary for the now dead man to have seven brothers, all of whom died in order to make their point. Had the man married and died and his brother married his wife in order to continue the family name, wouldn’t the same question, “whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” still apply but not on such a larger, ridiculous scale? I can’t help but think so.
I can’t help but think that the Sadducees engaged in”reductio ad absurdum” in an effort to make their point that the resurrection was in itself a logical fallacy extended to ridiculous proportions. They were wrong. They still didn’t get it. Many today are the same way.
The idea of a resurrection to come is an idea of hope. I can’t speak for others, but I need that hope in my life. I believe in a good and loving God who is at work building relationships with human creatures for an eternity that will be filled and alive in a much different way that what we experience in this life.
I look around me, I watch the evening news, I hear and see a great deal of evil in the world around me. To know that there is a resurrection where God, who Scripture tells us is love, is in full control, is an assurance I need in my life. When I see evil in the world, I believe that something much better will one day be a reality for you and me.
As far as the idea of who my wife will be in the resurrection, today I hope I will have some kind of relationship with Cindy. That being said, in my understanding of the life to come, we will be filled with so much joy and love, other things just won’t be so important.
I feel sorry for people, then and now, who believe as the Saducees did. How discouraging it must be, when in the face of evil, there is a central belief that there is no hope of better days coming. That just might be the height of sad. I can’t help but think, we all want something better.
What do you expect to see in the days of the resurrection?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved