The God of the Living

22nd Sunday after Pentecost | November 10, 2019

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 • Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 • 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 • Luke 20:27-38

27 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. 28 They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. 29 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 30 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. 31 Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. 32 Finally, the woman also died. 33 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”

34 Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. 35 But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. 36 And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.

37 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

Luke 20:27-38 New Living Translation (NLT)

As we near the end of the church year, this week’s readings focus on the resurrection. The Sadducees – a group of religious leaders who were also in opposition to Jesus, but were different from the Pharisees in that they did not believe in any type of afterlife. These Sadducees come up with a question – a quite convoluted question – a ridiculous question to Jesus about the resurrection and marriage.

Jesus reminds the Saducees that marriage is for this life and not the resurrection. Those who are resurrected on the last day will not marry or be given in marriage. We are also reminded that those who are resurrection will never die again.

The Jewish people by the time of Jesus’ arrival had developed some sense that this life was not all there was. There was a hope of a life to come, as seen in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus that we looked at earlier this season. But Jesus reminds us that even as early as Moses and the burning bush, Moses referred to the Lord as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are reminded that God is a God of the living and not of the dead.

Just this last week, we celebrated All Saints Day, which reminds us that those who have gone on before have a hope and they have a home in heaven. There is coming a day when those who are in Christ will rise again. We have that hope because Jesus himself rose again.

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