I have always found amusing the scenario the Sadducees connived in their minds and spoke to Jesus about. This story they dream up is funny in several ways. Read on.
“The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:23-29
After the second or third brother married her, you would think the next brother in line would hesitate or wonder, “What is she feeding him?” The next brother would ask: “What did she do to him?” or “how did he die?” or “Does she have a knife or poison?” You would think that by the time the seventh brother is to be married to her, he would be running the other direction. How old is this woman? How old are the brothers? It is a statistically unlikely story. It is one they made up in an effort to trap Jesus in His teachings.
The Sadducees were the some of the most wealthy and ultra-educated people of Israel. They had a conceit and arrogance about them. They denied anything supernatural such as: the resurrection, rewards for doing good, and even denied that angels existed. They were frequently in quarrels with the Pharisees who believed in the supernatural. The Sadducees adhered to the Law of Moses while the Pharisees added oral tradition to the Laws of Moses.
After Jesus took to task the Pharisees and said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” the Sadducees thought they could trip Jesus up with their unusual question about marriage and “who’s” wife will this woman be in Heaven?”
Interesting to note: These religious people did not believe in the resurrection. They did not believe in Heaven or Hell. They are trying to get Jesus to say something that would confirm their faulty belief system. If they could get Jesus to say there is no Heaven or Hell, that could help them undermine His ministry.
Notice how Jesus responds in Mathew 22:29-33. Jesus says that in the resurrection and by extension – in Heaven, people are not given to each other in marriage. Think about how the church is the bride of Christ. There is no need for individual marriage in Heaven like we need on earth for a help meet and “completion.” Jesus continues to talk about the resurrection and says that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” These Sadducees were “astonished” at His doctrine. And rightly so. Jesus is always right.
Before His explanation of their contrived dilemma – Jesus says in verse 29: “Ye do err, now knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” They asked a foolish question. Their pre-suppositions were faulty. Their thinking on the matter was not right. An entire paradigm for life was incorrect because they did not know the Bible.
Could it be that as modern Christians we do err, not knowing the Scriptures? Look in your own life to the times when you made a bad choice. Could it be that you are so proud to not even admit a wrong choice? When the bad choices were made and the outcome was not what you hoped and the problem grew worse – could it have been because you did not know the Scriptures?
Our minds need the refinement of God’s Word. This is an everyday process to let the Word of God develop your mind. Let the lines of the Bible write on and guide the thoughts of your mind.
We could call this the “Scripture Shaping” of the mind. How many times have you reasoned in your mind selfishly instead of Scripturally? How many times have you tried to beat a bad habit or a sinful habit and failed? Our minds and desires err when we do not know the Scripture.
These affluent, educated, and socialized men could not think right. We can have similar issues today.
Self-justification, ill-rationalization, and incoherent thinking are directly impacted and informed by what we know – or do not know. I encourage you to let the Scriptures Shape your thinking. We err when we do not know the Scriptures.