- Sermon Notes
The Construction of Your Conclusion
Illus. Not it!
Read: Matthew 22:23-33
The conversation in these verses’ centers on the resurrection, what happens at the end of this life. Surely it was something that the religious leaders in Jesus day had debated, and many throughout history have done as well. Regarding the end of this life, Jesus’ take is an important one since He Himself is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him.
Here the Sadducees come to Jesus and in coming to Him with this question, they find themselves before the One who has much to say on the matter. His words were important in their day, and so too in ours. Perhaps you have many questions that center on the same subject, this morning we will talk about the resurrection, and what Jesus had to say about the reality of life after death.
I. Ask Jesus and He Will Give the Answer
Matthew 22:23, On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him
- The Sadducees were rationalists. According to Acts 23:8 and here in Matthew 22, we understand, they did not believe in angels or in a resurrection of the dead, nor did they believe in spirits.
Acts 23:8, The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
- Regarding Scripture, they only believed the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
- Moses taught nothing directly about the resurrection (a return to life after death), and therefore they debated and denied the reality of resurrection.
Psalm 16:9-10, Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
Psalm 49:15, But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; He will surely take me to Himself.
Psalm 73:24, You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Daniel 12:2, Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
- Many Jews not only believed in life after death, but, the resurrection of the body. The exception to this was the Sadducees.
- The resurrection was not found within the construction of what they believed to be life’s conclusion.
- What did they believe about life’s conclusion? Ancient Jewish historian Josephus wrote that “the doctrine of the Sadducees it this, that souls die with the bodies,” (Antiq. Xviii. 1,4) and “they also take away the immortal duration of the soul.” (Jewish War, ii,i, 14)
- Though the Sadducees and Pharisees were on opposite ends of the spectrum, though they believed differently, they found a sense of unity in their opposition to Jesus.
- It is interesting that though they did not believe in the resurrection, it is the central topic of the question they ask Jesus.
- Their belief in the resurrection of the dead had already been challenged when Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead.
John 12:10-11, The chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.
- The question they ask is surrounding the resurrection and something that they view as a challenge to it, called the “levirate marriage.” This was likely a question they had tripped up many with.
- They start by quoting Moses, the great lawgiver of the Old Testament. Aware of Jesus’ high regard for Scripture, they did not believe He would contest the validity of what Moses had given.
- The question then being asked is a potential conflict between the law, given by Moses, and the reality of the resurrection.
- If, according to the law, a woman followed the law given by Moses and married all seven brothers, and there was life after death, a resurrection of them all…Whose wife would she be?
Illus. Who are you asking?
- Ultimately, the Sadducees were trying to fit the reality of the resurrection and the experience of eternity, into the way of their lives currently. But it would be much better, and different.
- Jesus would not be trapped by their attempt to make that which applies to life on earth, applicable in the resurrection.
Matthew 22:29-30, But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.
- Know God’s Word, and His Power
- Jesus tells them that they are mistaken. It is a word in the original language which means to go astray, wander off, or in its form here, to lead oneself off course, or to stray from the truth.
- The reason why they were mistaken, is because they did not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God.
- Jesus goes right to the construction of their conclusion and points out the fault in it. It was their underlying assumption that the resurrection of the dead was impossible.
- They did not know the Scripture, if they did, they would know that that Scripture taught the resurrection. Nor did they know the power of God because if they did, they would know that nothing is impossible for God.
- For you and for me, knowing the Scriptures and the power of God are key to keeping our lives from error, from being led astray.
Illus. Media Literacy.
2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
- Jesus says they are mistaken, not knowing the Word of God, or the power of God.
Illus. Word and the power.
- After pointing them to the primary problem, Jesus gives important insight about the resurrection and eternal life.
- Jesus says, in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.
- Notice He does say become angels, He says like angels. Meaning in our spiritual nature: deathless, glorified, and eternal.
Luke 20:34-36, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.
- In addition to being like angels in the resurrection, we neither marry, nor are we given in marriage.
- Marriage then, seems to be a temporary experience. In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are they given in marriage.
- So, what does this mean? It does not mean we won’t know each other, nor does it specifically mean we will not have a close relationship.
- We know that the Bible indicates that we will know each other more fully that we do now, we know we will know fully, even as we are fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
- Luke 16:27-28 gives us indication that we will be aware of family relationships.
- Our relationships in heaven will be different, however. The eternal state will be different than our current state.
- There will no longer be death, for death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54).
- Since there is no death, there is no need for the procreation. It will be different. But I trust the Lord as I look that direction, I trust everything will be even better.
Illus. Give it to the Lord.
- It is important to remember that marriage on earth is a shadow, or a picture of Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:31-32, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I’m speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
- In heaven, we will still be who we are now, only glorified, perfected, both in body and soul. We will have relationships and be reunited with those we love who are in Christ.
- We will have bodies in heaven as well, but they will be glorified and different from our earthly bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44, So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
- We will be reunited with those we love who are in Christ. We will get to see and be with Jesus.
- And our perspective, will be changed, transformed from what we know today, to God’s perspective. We will all be changed; it is a mystery Paul says (1 Cor. 15:51) but it will be a beautiful one.
1 Corinthians 13:12, For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
- When you know the word of God, you are able to understand all that God’s word has to say about the good things to come. When you know the power of God, you know that He is able.
- (Eph. 3:20), God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or even think!
- The Sadducees continually said, “no way,” Jesus pointed them back to what God’s word has to say.
- Live for the God of the Living
Matthew 22:31-33, Regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
- Since those questioning Him only acknowledged the first five books of the Bible, Jesus went back to the book of Exodus to show them their error.
Exodus 3:6, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
- The Sadducees quote Moses to Jesus, and Jesus shows them the reality that Moses had come to see.
- God did not come to Moses and say, “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
- He said, I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus interprets this for them, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Rather,
- In other words, those who had died physically, hundreds of years prior to Moses coming on the scene, were alive with God. They had once died physically but were alive spiritually.
- Now, about 1500 years later, Jesus quotes what God said to Moses. And here, 2000 year later today, I quote to you what was quoted to Moses by God, and to the Sadducees by Jesus, God in the flesh. Our God is not the God of the dead, He is the God of the living.
- What is the construction of your conclusion? Everyone will have eternal existence. The real question is where.
John 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.