MATTHEW 22:29-32: “Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What is my concept of life? How do I view the circumstances and challenges that I face each day? What is the paradigm through which I interpret my daily existence?
Do you wear glasses? I have worn glasses since I was a student in college. I found I was squinting continually at the board as my professor gave his lecture. I had my eyes examined and it was determined that I was nearsighted. I hadn’t realized it before because most of what I did was close up. However, when I began straining to see writing in a lecture hall I discovered I had a problem. I was viewing life through a faulty lens!
So many of us do this in our spiritual and emotional lives also. We create our own paradigms that are based on our inability to see. We establish our own lenses and then view life through these lenses. If you have ever put on the wrong prescription glasses you will quickly discover how dangerous this can be.
The Sadducees were a sect of the Jews who did not believe in the miraculous or the resurrection from the dead. Their entire paradigm for life was the here and now. They tried to trap Jesus in a trick question that was crafted to support their personal viewpoint.
- “That same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to him and questioned him: “Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second also, and the third, and so on to all seven. Last of all, the woman died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her.” Matthew 22:23-28 CSB
This was quite an elaborate setup. It really had no connection to reality. The goal of this setup was to trap Jesus into agreeing with their personal concept of life. They were convinced of their cleverness as they smugly set this question before Jesus. Jesus’ answer is quite surprising. He does not lead with an answer but a statement which exposes their failure to both see and understand.
- “Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.”
Let’s break this down. Understand that this statement was made to a group of religious zealots who took pride in their understanding of the Scriptures. Jesus’ reply made it clear – you can have a scholastic mastery of the Scripture but not know the Scriptures. And, if you have no place for the miraculous power of God in your paradigm you surely will be led astray.
We can only understand the Scriptures through the indwelling presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit. And, we can only receive the wisdom of God through faith. Faith acknowledges the invisible, it does not deny it. Faith affirms that everything we see is not the true reality. It is the unseen that stands as the reality of faith and the promise of eternity!
- “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 CSB
The Sadducees were looking at life through their human wisdom and reason. They had created their own paradigm for life through their limited view of life. They could not see into the eternal because they lacked the true gift of faith. The true gift of faith reveals Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and opens our eyes to the full understanding of His Word.
- “Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God: I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Here is where our concept of life is determined. If we limit God and doubt His Word we will walk through life spiritually nearsighted. We will only see what we can understand close up and will fail to see through the veil of the eternal. Yet, if we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, walk daily in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, our lives will be a continual unveiling of the eternal – impacting the temporal. We will begin to live in a paradigm (concept of life) which affirms that with God all things are possible to those who believe!
Each year I visit the optometrist and have my eyes checked. I do this because I want to see the very best that is possible. This morning I need to visit the Holy Spirit heartometrist (my word). I need to have my heart searched so that I can be changed deep within. Only then will I be able to walk in the true paradigm (concept) of life.
- “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalms 139:23-24 CSB
In Jesus Name!