Let's Get Back To Basics
Father, I love many things, many good things. Redirect my love, first of all, to ultimate things, to You.
Read Mark 12:18-27
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
None of us knows exactly what heaven is like, but what would make heaven especially “heavenly” for you?
Our presuppositions shape our views on most issues, including the afterlife. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders were divided on this subject: Pharisees believed in a resurrection, Sadducees didn’t. It is strange, therefore, that it was the Sadducees who came to Jesus with this unlikely scenario relating to the levirate marriage law (by which a man might be required to marry his brother’s widow; Deut. 25:5,6). Surely they knew that Jesus would perceive their questioning was not sincere; yet, they persisted in asking a conundrum that was of the complexity of Samson’s riddle or Solomon’s dilemma (Judg. 14:8-18; 1 Kings 3:16-28), and awaited the teacher’s considered reply. Jesus did not answer their question directly; instead, he accused them of erroneous presuppositions and then gave them a lesson in basic eschatology (the study of the end times).
Their first error was misunderstanding the teaching of their Scriptures. Their second was not having a true awareness of the power of God. The story of Moses’ encounter with the holy God (Exod. 3:5,6) hinted that the God of Moses continued to be the God of his ancestors; somehow those who were deemed long dead were in fact still alive! God has the power to do what seems experientially impossible.
Little in the Old Testament clearly indicates the fuller view of resurrection that we hold this side of Jesus’ resurrection, but there are indicators that it was believed it would happen (Psa. 16:8-11). Jesus adds some new information here about life in the resurrection era: relationships in heaven will not be the same as in our earthbound existence. Marriage for procreation and companionship will not be needed, but all will experience a new quality of existence: “like the angels in heaven.” We can no more fathom the mysteries of eternity than the Sadducees but our knowledge of the Scriptures and the power of God will keep us on track for kingdom living–future and present.
Which do you know more about, the Scriptures, or the power of God (24)? What are your hopes for growing in the other area?
Eternal One, I thank You for the hope of heaven. I’m grateful for the glimpses of heaven Your Word gives, but I trust in the mysteries I don’t understand.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.