Understanding the Resurrection

Luke 20: 27-40
1 Mc 6:1-13 / Psa 9

Moses. . . calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for to Him all are alive.
(Luke 20:37-38)

None on earth can give direction
The way that Jesus has given;
Belief in the Resurrection
Assures our passage to heaven.

Now there came to Jesus some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should marry the wife and raise up children to his brother. Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless; and the second and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. Finally the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resur-rection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for to Him all are alive.” Some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything. (Luke 20: 27-40)


Jesus had just silenced the scribes and the chief priests when He wisely answered their trap question on paying taxes to Caesar (“Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God”). Now the Sadducees stepped forward to stump Jesus with a question about marriage and the resurrection. Jesus’ answer begs us to reflect on the deeper mean-ing of the resurrection. First, Jesus makes a distinction: “The sons of this age (who) marry” and “those considered worthy of that age (who) neither marry nor are given in marriage.” He was telling the Sadducees indirectly that they were not worthy to enter that other age (eternal life) because they did not believe in the resurrection. Their idea of immortality was the perpetuation of a man’s name through his children in this life. That was why a man must marry his brother’s widow according to the Jewish Levirate law (Deut.25:5), to produce children to carry on the dead man’s name. By simply quoting Moses in the “Burning Bush” incident, the Sadducees’ belief was demolished.

We scoff at the error of the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead nor in the angels and living saints in heaven. But if we examine our lifestyle, can we truly say that we are not like them at all? If we truly believe in the afterlife, what preparations are we undertaking now to ensure that we will be worthy to enter that age? We all know that our life here on earth is but a short sojourn, but many of us live as if our lives can go on forever. Thus our obsession with material things and our temporal concerns make us children of this world rather than “sons of the resurrection” that we ought to be. St. Paul said, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all” (1Cor.15:19). Think about it: Why would God go to all the trouble of becoming man, be crucified on the cross, and resurrect from the dead if life was merely confined here on earth? Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Lord God, the way we live is determined by our faith in the resurrection. Help us to stand boldly for the Gospel of Jesus, Your Son, and to store up treasures in heaven, so that we may be assured of our own resurrection, the doorway to Your kingdom. Amen.

Comments are closed.