The Sadducees Questioned Jesus about the Resurrection
1. No one knows when Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36); therefore, we are to watch and be ready (Matthew 24:42, 44) because we will face Him in judgment (Matthew 25:31-32). 2. When Jesus returns, but prior to the judgment, all the dead will be raised (John 5:28-29). 3. In this lesson we are studying the occasion when "the Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection" (Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-38).
I. ON THIS OCCASION THE SADDUCEES APPROACHED JESUS
A. Basically, the Sadducees were wealthy Jewish political leaders. 1. In Acts 4:1 they are mentioned with the priests and the captain of the temple. 2. In Acts 5:17 they are mentioned with the high priest. B. The Sadducees had some peculiar doctrines. 1. They said, "there is no resurrection." 2. According to Acts 23:8, they did not believe in angels or the spirit. 3. They believed that all life ends with the grave. 4. This should help us understand why Jesus told His disciples to beware of the "leaven" [doctrine] of these people (Matthew 16:6, 12).
II. THE SADDUCEES PRESENTED A HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION TO JESUS
A. The situation presented by the Sadducees: 1. was based on the law given in Deuteronomy 25:5-6 2. involved 7 brothers who had the same wife. B. They wanted Jesus to tell them whose wife this woman would be in the resurrection.
III. JESUS ANSWERED THE SADDUCEES' QUESTION
A. Jesus first told these people that they were wrong -- they erred greatly. 1. They did not know the Scriptures or God's power. 2. Marriage is a relationship associated with life on earth -- not in heaven. B. Jesus next quoted a statement from Exodus 3:6 to show that there is life after death. 1. God was speaking to Moses from the burning bush. 2. God identified Himself by saying: "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." 3. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died many years earlier, but when God said, "I am," He implied that they were alive somewhere. C. Jesus concluded by saying: "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."