Matthew 22:23-46

Matthew 22:23-46

Last Sunday after the service someone said to me, “Pastor, I do not want to be critical at all but when we said a covenant vow, using the marriage vow, it was not right for us to say ‘until we are parted by death’ because we would not be parted from Jesus by death!” I totally agree with her. She was right and I was glad that she pointed out my mistake. We should have said, “Until we are joined by death!” because we will finally join with all the saints and start our eternal love relationship with Jesus when we physically die.

Our living relationship with Jesus would not end with our physical death. That is what Jesus says to the Sadducees in today’s biblical passages. When the Pharisees failed to trap Jesus with their tricky questions, now Sadducees tried to tackle him. However, their question was not just tricky but also ruthless and inhumane. They referred to the law in the Old Testament. According to the law, when a brother dies without an heir, the younger brother has a legal responsibility to go into the wife of the brother and gets her pregnant. When a son is born, he should be the successor of the older brother. It was an ancient system to keep the family line in their society. The Sadducees used this law as their logical foundation to prove that there would be neither afterlife nor resurrection. However, in doing this, they made an imaginary situation when the widow had to marry seven times with all the seven brothers. Even thought it was just a theoretical case, they did not care for a dignity and happiness of the widow in their illustration. They just wanted to win the argument!

When you think that this life is all we have and we do not have afterlife or resurrection this kind of apathy prevails in our mind. We become ruthless to win games in the world. However, when we believe in the resurrection, we can give up and sacrifice our rights for eternal life as Jesus did! We can see things in this world from the eternal perspective!

That is why Jesus affirmed again that resurrection was reality. When we die, we would not need to have spouse in heaven. We will recognize them and meet them again with joy but we will live like angels in heaven not as wives or husbands. We will have not this kind of body that has all the weaknesses and pains. We will have resurrection body, which knows no illness or diseases. There will be no more tears. There will be no more sighs.

Jesus says that God is the God of the living. When God says that I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God treats them as sleeping saints. They are not dead forever! So, my brothers and sisters! Let us not act as if this life is all that we have. Let us live as conquerors of this world. We can experience loss of job, challenges in lives, and broken relationships but that should not mean the end of the world for us. That is what Jesus tried to tell us. “Love your God with all your heart, soul, and mind! Love your neighbors as yourself!” When we keep this eternal perspective, we can live as eternal lovers of Jesus. When we lose this perspective, we will fight over the worldly things.

Think about the king David! He could forgive the king Saul over and over again. The king Saul tried to kill David many times but David did not even try to revenge him even when the perfect opportunities presented themselves twice. The King David saw Jesus sitting on the right hand of God. He also heard that at the end God would defeat the enemy of Jesus. Through this spiritual experience, the King David knew that even though physically he can be an ancestor of Jesus, spiritually Jesus is the Lord! Now David could trust God’s justice and refrain from his personal revenge. Without such spiritual view point, the Pharisees could not explain why the King David called his descendent the Lord!

We are the people of eternal hope! Nothing can separate us from the eternal life and love of God! Let us live out such faith in our daily actions. Let us spread this hope among all the peoples in the world!

 

  1. How this resurrection faith helps you to overcome your current challenges in your life?
  2. When you know that this life is not all that we have, what would you give up or sacrifice with joy and gladness?
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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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One Response to Matthew 22:23-46

  1. Jo Ann Ward says:

    My husband and I are working in Concord until March. We use the internet to find a local church to attend when we are away from home. In studying your web site we are encouraged and look forward to worshiping our Lord with you and your congregation.Thank you for your teachings, convictions and hopefulness. ~Tony and JoAnn Ward, Sand Springs, OK. Our home church is Victory Christian Center, Tulsa,OK

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