Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:1-46, Psalm 110, Hebrews 10:11-14
Don’t get me wrong. I really do love my job, but I am not a morning person. Just the other day, I woke to the sound of my phone’s beeping alarm. Ugh. That was my first response. But as my feet hit the ground, something seemed off. Oh, that’s right. It’s Saturday, isn’t it?
It’s sad but true: I’ve been known to get so caught up in the daily grind that I’ve forgotten about the glory and goodness of the coming weekend.
The Sadducees didn’t just forget about the good news; they completely denied the possibility of life after death. Anyone remember singing at Vacation Bible School, “I don’t want to be a Sadducee, because they’re so sad you see”? Well, the reason they were “sad” is because their sect of Judaism had no hope for bodily resurrection. The Sadducees wanted to make the idea of the resurrection look ridiculous, and Matthew 22 recounts their attempt to trap the Messiah with a trick question.
How did Jesus respond to their attempts at trickery? He lovingly responded to them in their own language, and then offered them a challenge. Because the Sadducees esteemed Moses over all others, Jesus quoted what Moses had to say about the resurrection. When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He said, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). The Lord used the present tense—“I am,” not “I was.”
“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). Jesus confirms that Abraham is living, Isaac is living, Jacob is living. There is life after death. Hallelujah!
It’s easy for us to judge the Sadducees’ unbelief because we have the full and complete gospel in mind. We know that Jesus went down to the grave and rose again. Still, while we might not outright deny the resurrection, do we sometimes forget about it? It’s easy to get so focused on our everyday lives that we lose sight of our heavenly future. We live in fear, cling to earthly security, and fight for status. We may not deny the resurrection with our tongues, but we do with our thoughts and actions.
Christ’s response to the Sadducees is a response for all of us. The Lord understands where you’re coming from and wants to lovingly speak to you about what’s to come. He knows exactly what makes you forget the eternal hope—whether you’re struggling with anxiety, exhausted by caring for children, distracted by work, or any number of other things. He gets it, but He doesn’t leave us there. He gives us true hope.
Jesus also challenged the Sadducees to know Scripture better. Could the same be said for us? When we lose sight of the good news, let’s fill our minds with the truth of God’s Word and open our ears to the Lord who speaks to us. May we delve into our Bibles for wisdom from above and hold fast to the living hope of the resurrection.
“Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
- 1 Peter 1:3-4
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.