The Question about the Resurrection
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
The most recent “Stump Jesus” question is one of those in the vein of “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” or “Can God create a rock that he cannot lift?” Its a question (not unlike those that have come before in the preceding verses) that is designed to trap Jesus. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t really answer their question (again not unlike what he has done before) but he puts it back in such a way that they do not have a response. I would not have wanted to debate Jesus…
Seriously though, what I love about Jesus’ response is something that really connects with me here and now. I’m not thinking much about a question like what Jesus is given here, but instead I hear a lot about what’s down the road – whether that’s discussions of end times or the afterlife. Yet, Jesus pretty plainly puts it here…God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. What I hear in this response is “focus on life now. The afterlife will happen and will take care of itself. Focus on life now.”
Living the now life requires an attentiveness to what is taking place around us. It is a slowing down, stopping and looking for what is going on, and really taking it in. I was blessed yesterday with a beautiful sight – two butterflies flying around our butterfly bush by our back door. They were doing their own thing at first but then they started chasing each other. I was blessed to capture some of this example of life and energy and beauty. I captured several other beautiful pictures of these butterflies as they had stopped on various flowers, but I thought that this picture captures life taking place. But I would have missed it if I hadn’t stopped to look and take it in.
God has things taken care of in the life beyond. We are called to focus on the life now. Take it in. The beauty that God has put around us. The life flying all around. Its there. Take it in.