Some Sadducees came up. This is the Jewish party that denies
any possibility of resurrection. They asked, "Teacher, Moses
wrote us that if a man dies and leaves a wife but no child, his
brother is obligated to take the widow to wife and get her with
child. Well, there once were seven brothers. The first took a
wife, He died childless. The second married her and died, then
the third, and eventually all seven had their turn, but no child.
After all that, the wife died. That wife, now -- in the resurrection
whose wife is she? All seven married her."
Jesus said, "Marriage is a major preoccupation here, but
not there. Those who are included in the resurrection of the
dead will no longer be concerned with marriage nor, of course,
with death. They will have better things to think about, if you
can believe it. All ecstasies and intimacies then will be with
God. Even Moses exclaimed about resurrection at the burning bush,
saying, 'God: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob!' God
isn't the God of dead men, but of the living. To [God] all are
<The Message >
Is it the first experience, or the later experiences which is
to be our guide. This is an on-going issue in Biblical interpretation.
Some people think it is the first principle which is to be the
guide and that later writings run the risk of misinterpreting
the import of the first image. Others run it the other way around,
that later pictures correct the dim glimmerings of a first impression.
I expect we all play with those to benefit our own current understanding.
Sometimes we choose one way and sometimes another.
In this case, Jesus chooses the early experience of Moses over
a later Mosaic rule. How would you have approached the trick
If you go back to Deuteronomy 15:5 ff. to read up on this leverite
marriage process you will find the option of spitting in faces
and shaming people. These kinds of rules often bring with them
a focus of hierarchy taking precedence to care of individuals.
Be that as it may be, what would be an equivalent question today?
How would you phrase this in terms of same-gender legalities?
And, once having phrased it, how do you think Jesus would cut
through our presuppositions and hypothetical straw arguments?
Marriage still is a major preoccupation here. As lovely as that
gift of relationship is, how do we recognize its covenant responsibilities
in light of a whole passel of covenants? Does an intimacy with
GOD sometimes call one out of a covenantal call? Does an intimacy
with GOD call all our covenants into a new focus?
For those of you who are married, how does this conversation
challenge and deepen your marriage covenant?
For those of you who are not married, how does this passage challenge
and deepen your intimacy with GOD?
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