December 2, 2010 * Luke 20:27-40

Gospel Reading

Luke 20:27-40

 

Luke 20:27-40 is the only place that the Sadducees appear in the Gospel of Luke. It is also interesting to note that Luke does not tell us that the Sadducees asked their question so that they might trap Jesus. The resurrection was however a point of conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Sadducees rejected the authority of oral tradition, denied belief in angels, rejected the resurrection, and believed in free will (in opposition to determinism). We do not have any of their own writings and rely on the Gospels and the writings of Josephus for the little we do know about them.

 

The Sadducees here in Luke, constructed their question about the resurrection by means of a logical fallacy (a straw man argument). Jesus explicitly informs the Sadducees that in the resurrection people; (1) do not marry, (2) that they are not given in marriage, (3) that they do not die, and (3) that there are angels. Jesus then goes on to defend the resurrection using an authority that the Sadducees would accept, Moses. Jesus argues that God is “God not of the dead, but of the living”; therefore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must be alive to God (“for to him all of them are alive”).

 

How does the promise of the resurrection influence the way you live today? Or, does it?

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