The Gospel of Matthew

Marriage at the resurrection

This devotional is written by Gilly Bowen. I've been attending St. Marys online every week since March 2020, from Plymouth.  As Dave Holden's Mum, I feel great affinity with you all, having also met many of you over the years. Looking forward to some hugs!

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"[a]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.'

33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

Reflection

Do you sometimes think that reading the bible brings up more questions than answers?

The Sadducees state there is no resurrection, but then they ask Jesus about the resurrection. Jesus assures them that God is the God of the living, not the dead, then seems to illustrate his point by saying that God is the God of three people who are in fact already dead.

It's no wonder the crowds were astonished at his teaching. Some would have believed his words at face value and marvelled, some would have accepted, lacking the intellectual capacity to work it all out, some would have been sceptical, while others would have gone away and discussed it all with their friends and family.

We are like that. When I first read the bible all the way through, I remember thinking that I didn't understand all of it, I didn't read all of it (like skimming bits in "Numbers" and not reading every single Proverb), and I didn't actually believe all of it! And yet I remember feeling as if my life had changed because of it.

This is the authority of the Word. The crowd marvelled at Jesus because of his authority - this indefinable quality which is heart-changing in spite of our mind and intellect. It's ok to question. It's ok to challenge. It's ok to admit you can't work it all out yet. It's also ok to have blind faith. We are never going to get answers to all our questions in this bit of life, so some things are just going to have to be accepted.

If you've made as many mistakes as I have in this life, you'll be quite glad there is no marriage in heaven. There's a statement from Jesus I am not going to challenge!

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