In today’s gospel of Mark 12:18-27, Jesus’ encounter with different sects of the Jewish community continues. Yesterday was the Pharisees and Herodians and today the Sadducees.
So in today’s gospel of Mark 12:18-27, the Sadducees met Jesus and were questioning Him about the resurrection using a story of a woman who married seven sons of the same parents.
Some exegetes see this encounter today as a continuation of trying to put Him to the test (though was not specifically stated) because it falls in the same chapter of Mark 12.
We can also see that of the teacher of the law from verse 28 of the same chapter. To understand the gospel of today we have to know who the Sadducees are.
Who are the Sadducees?
They are seen as wealthy aristocrats with a lot of influence. Acts 5:17 says they dominated the Sanhedrin ( supreme council, assembly and tribunal of the Jews).
The Sadducees according to Acts 23: 8 do not believe in angels, demons, spirits and future bodily resurrection. They are so diehard about their belief.
One can then ask, why the question then? Following from the nature of the sect and the question they asked, we can understand that the Sadducees wanted to assert their superiority by trying to find a way to prove that resurrection is absurd.
From their understanding, if the woman cannot marry all, then resurrection is not true. But in trying to put up this analogy they exposed their ignorance.
Firstly, the story is absurd. Secondly, there is no marriage after death. They do not understand and instead of wanting to understand, they are finding a way to use what they do not understand to set a trap, hence exposing more of their ignorance.
This reading of today exposes to us another form of test. This is when people think that they know more than everyone else. They put their tests in the form of questions to keep you in a trap.
Sometimes, we find these kinds of people among those we lead, our friends and close associates. Some ask questions not to fully understand but to tell the world you know nothing.
Secondly, when we do not truly understand, it is recommended we try to understand before we conclude. We have the bible and the church to help us to the knowledge of the truth. Never twist whatever truth we do not understand.
Jesus berates the Sadducees because of their ignorance of the scriptures and God. They did not understand because they lack true knowledge of the Word of God.
The Sadducees here are those who think because they went to a bible school, they are now more knowledgeable than the teaching authority of the Church.
This is the reason we have to careful in drinking everything we see on social media. Some of them are out to destroy.
In today’s gospel of Mark 12:18-27, the Sadducees think they know because they know the scriptures but never knew they know nothing. They read the scriptures but give a wrong interpretation of it.
Jesus tells them ‘Is not the reason why you go wrong, that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven”.
Jesus ‘ response proves the reality of the resurrection of the dead, a sign of hope for all children of God that everything does not end in this world. There is still life after.
Therefore, do not live in the world as if you will never expire one day. Everything we try to accumulate will still vanish before our eyes. We will not understand this now until at the point of death.
He is God, not of the dead, but the Living.
In today’s gospel of Mark 12:18-27, Many anti-Catholics present the above statement as proof to show that it is not good to ask the saints to pray for us. In their reasons, they are dead.
First of all, this is a misinterpretation of this chapter and statement. Now read closely, before Jesus makes this statement, He says “Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but the living”.
Teaching the Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead, Jesus mentions God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These people He mentioned are dead but Jesus here is trying to tell them that though they are dead, their bodily death does not mean they are dead finally.
So, if God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are dead in this world, and He is not the God of the dead, it then means that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob though they have died are alive.
Jesus tells them that they are mistaken because they think that the dead cannot rise again. Hence, those who quote this chapter to disproof the saints do not know that they are shooting themselves in the leg. It is either they read and do not understand, or that they do not want to understand.
This chapter is even a confirmation and not a disproof that the saints are also alive though they have experienced bodily death. Therefore bodily death is not the end. There is still life after death.
Hence, like the Sadducees, we need Divine Guidance, we need to follow the teaching authority of the Church.
For when we do not understand, we may degenerate into error without knowing. Let us always pray to God for divine guidance.
May God bless you dearest and give you knowledge and understanding, May He give you the grace to continually come close to Him Amen