ONE BRIDE – SEVEN BROTHERS
Jesus, may I come to Your Word truly seeking what You want to say to me, not with doubts and skepticism.
Read Matthew 22:23–33
Marriage at the Resurrection
23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am 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.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectResurrection is central to Christian hope. Who are you looking forward to meeting up with when you get there?
Okay, this story moves at high speed. A woman loses her husband, then marries his brother to try and provide an heir in the family line. He dies, so she marries again. This happens so often she ends up having been married to all seven brothers. (Quite some wedding that seventh one must have been: a happy day for whom exactly?) The pastoral implications for the woman are not addressed.
For the Sadducees, this all makes a nonsense of the resurrection, since logically she will end up with seven husbands: it can’t be done—full stop. All we know about the Sadducees is that they did not believe in the resurrection. Perhaps they specialized in variations on this one argument. (Interestingly, the Pharisees are not the target here, because they did believe in resurrection.)
Jesus does not think it is worth breaking it gently to them. “You are in error” (29). They have misunderstood God and Scripture, and are missing out on God’s power. It is all about resurrection. Even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive to God. Resurrection is more important even than marriage, we might say, although this need not stop couples spending time together in the world to come.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:18. How can you take your mind off the things of this world today and fix them on Jesus and what is to come?
Rejoice in the Lord! Resurrection hope is bigger than all of our problems.