Our Next Guest Is: Sadducees

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 9: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Three Mark 12:18-27

18 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: 19 “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. 20 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 21 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died without children. Then the third brother married her. 22 This continued with all seven of them, and still there were no children. Last of all, the woman also died. 23 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”

24 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 25 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.

26 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 27 So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error.”
– Mark 12:18-27 (NLT)

1. What far-fetched scenario does this next group of religious leaders bring to Jesus, and why?
2. Why does Jesus say they are wrong according to verse 24?
3. How does the verse Jesus uses from Exodus 3 prove the faulty theology of the Sadducees (see here for help)?

At this point in the book, we find ourselves in a scenario on repeat: religious leaders ask Jesus a question they don’t really want to know the answer to, and Jesus responds with an answer that addresses the true heart of the matter, leaving them silenced and stunned. But the thing that should cause us to stand up and pay attention is Jesus’ accusation that these religious leaders didn’t know their Scriptures and, therefore, they didn’t know God. What? The Sadducees would have had the first five books of the Bible memorized! And yet, they missed the most important thing – the power of God. As you come to Scripture, remember this important truth: the Bible is first and foremost a book about God. Before you ever ask the question, “How does this apply to me?” ask first, “What does this passage teach me about God?”

For Further Reading: Reading Without Seeing

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Our Next Guest