Day 178: June 27, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 22:23-33

23 The same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to Him and questioned Him: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same happened to the second also, and the third, and so to all seven. 27 Then last of all the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her.” 29 Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 31 Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God : 32 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.” 33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

Mark 12:18-27

18 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and questioned Him: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaves his wife behind, and leaves no child, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying, left no offspring. 21 The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven left no offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?” 24 Jesus told them, “Are you not deceived because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. 26 Now concerning the dead being raised —haven’t you read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are badly deceived.”

Luke 20:27-40

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned Him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died without children. 30 Also the second 31 and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.” 34 Jesus told them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 He is not God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to Him.” 39 Some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 And they no longer dared to ask Him anything.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

—Matthew 22:29

The Power of God
by Lauren O'Neill, Senior Adult and Congregational Care Assistant, Brentwood Campus

When I’m waiting impatiently at a red light, it’s easy for me to forget there’s such a thing as the power of God. It’s such a human moment—sitting in a car, surrounded by other cars, staring impatiently up at an electric beacon, connected to a network of machines that meters our starting and stopping.

In such moments, it’s shamefully easy to believe that this—my life, the traffic, the forced pause—is all there is. The hope of seeing that green light is all that exists, and my waiting for it is all that matters. In such moments, I completely forget about things like the resurrection and eternal life.

My days can tend to become busy, noisy, mechanical, and shallow, unless I’m constantly setting my mind on things above. Left on its own, my mind tends to get tangled up in to-do lists and self-absorption, and it becomes illiterate to the eternity that’s written on my heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

In the midst of a busy week, I fail to understand that the resurrection of Christ is somehow alive in me.

The Sadducees also failed to understand the resurrection and power of God—power capable of life beyond the very grave it would soon conquer. They foolishly believed their understanding of the law was greater and more important than the Truth being spoken to them by Jesus. Their view of God was small. And therefore, their understanding of His power was small as well.

In today’s Scripture passages, we read how the Sadducees attempted to trap Jesus by pitting their understanding of the law against His own. They taunted Him, in an effort to justify their own actions. In the end, they were proven foolish by the authoritative answer of Christ. He exposed their trifling comprehension of God’s power and admonished them for their disbelief in things they couldn’t see.

He further challenged their misunderstanding by reminding them what God spoke to Moses at the burning bush all those years ago: “I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND THE GOD OF ISAAC AND THE GOD OF JACOB” (Matt 22:32; Exodus 3:6).

Jesus used this text because He knew the Sadducees believed the book of Exodus to be authoritative and true. By bringing this particular text to their attention in this context, He reminded them they served a God who is alive, and therefore is full of more power than their futile minds could understand—enough power to resurrect the dead and sustain eternal life in Christ.

Nothing has changed in the past 2,000 years. The resurrection is still proving itself in us every single day, as children of God. Eternity waits for us, and our hearts remind us daily there’s life beyond the grave because He’s alive.

It’s easy to get caught up in this world and be concerned only with those things regarding it. But my prayer is the Holy Spirit would continue reminding me of the eternity written upon my heart—that unlike the Sadducees, my mind could comprehend the glory of the resurrection in every human moment, at every red light, and beyond what my eyes can see. He’s alive.

Reflection Questions

  1. What does the word “power” mean to you? What about the word “resurrection”? When Jesus tells the Sadducees they don’t understand the power of God, why was this significant to their understanding of the resurrection?
  2. Think about your daily routine, as you go about your week. Are there moments when you’re in your car, washing the dishes, or getting ready for work when you can be setting your mind on eternal things? What does it mean to have eternity written on your heart?
  3. How’s the resurrection being exemplified in your life, as a child of God?

About the Author

Lauren O'Neill
» Blog/Website

Lauren O’Neill serves at Brentwood Baptist as an Administrative Assistant to the Senior Adult and Congregational Care ministers. Working behind the scenes is often her preferred place of ministry, but she’s also had plenty of time in the spotlight as a Christian singer/songwriter and worship leader—all before getting married and moving to Franklin with her husband Tim in 2011. In her free moments, she’s inevitably found reading a book, writing, or playing piano—with a glass of iced coffee close beside her. Her passions include teaching and studying the written Word, music, and traveling. She dreams of authoring a children’s book some day. You can read some of her writings at laurennoneill.blogspot.com.