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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Whose Wife is She Anyway? (Mark 12:26)

"Now about the dead rising--have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" (Mark 12:26)

The Sadducees spent their lives debating the doctrine of resurrection; they were sad, you see because physical death was the end of the life line for them. The answer to their question "Whose wife was she who had buried seven husbands who were all brothers?" summarized their unbelief. For them confusion accompanies the belief in the resurrection so they chose to discard the belief altogether. It is natural, therefore, for man to discard what he can't understand or what requires faith.

Is there life after death? Does it really matter? You bet!

Just as the fire that fell from heaven demonstrated God's acceptance of the special offerings of the Old Testament so the resurrection put God's "stamp of approval" on the life ministry and death of Jesus Christ.
  • The resurrection proves that God has accepted Jesus' sacrificial death on my behalf.
  • The resurrection of Jesus is the seal of His work and the assurance that we don't have to fear death.
Because He rose from the dead we know, we who trust in Him, will also experience resurrection, "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9). Because He rose from the dead we know we shall arise; so, we don't have to be sad, you see.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Mark 12:18-27; Matthew 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-40
  • Read Deuteronomy 25:5-10 describing the "Levirate Marriage Law" to get a context for the Sadducees' controversy.
  • Genesis 38 describes this "Levirate Marriage Law" actually carried out.
  • What does Jesus interpret their question regarding the resurrection?
  • What Scripture does God use to correct their faulty understanding?
Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-28
  • What does the teacher's response to Jesus' answer to his question reveal to you about love for God?
  • What attributes of love for God do the Pharisees insist upon?
Luke 10:29-37
  • How does this parable illustrate the love for God?
  • How does the response of the religious leaders differ from that of the Samaritan?
Mark 12:35-37a; Matthew 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44
  • What question does Jesus use to "stump" the teachers of the law?
  • What is He teaching them about the Messiah?
Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:37b-40; Luke 20:45-47
  • How does this narrative fit in with what Jesus has been teaching about those who love God?
  • What drives the religious activity of the Pharisees?
  • How does Jesus describe the Pharisees in the list of the seven condemning "woes" given? 
  • Why does Jesus warn His disciples about the Pharisees?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to make you aware of when you play "religious dress-up" so that others will think well of you.