Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we will be holding 10:30 worship and all programming online rather than in person.

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Service Times

Traditional Worship Service – 10:30am, Livestream

Reflection on Scripture

Mark 12:18-27

The question is decidedly weird. If a woman’s husband dies and she marries his brother and that brother dies and she marries the next brother, and so on and so forth through seven rather unlucky brother/grooms, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? It is the kind of question they ask you in a law school class on domestic relations. And there are answers to be found, albeit conflicting ones, in Genesis 38:8, Leviticus 18:16 and 20:21, and Deuteronomy 25:5, in case you might be curious. But that is not really the question at all. Go back to the first line of the passage and it might help make sense of what is going on.

“Some Sadducees*, who say there is no resurrection, came to [Jesus] and asked him a question,” about resurrection. A question based on a premise you do not agree with is not a question. It is a trap. They are trying to trip up Jesus by taking his teachings about resurrection and expanding them to the point of absurdity to undermine his claims. They presume there can be no resurrection and now they want to demonstrate why no one else should.

The problem with the Sadducees’ way of thinking is that they were blinded by their own presumptions, a perennial human problem we call confirmation bias. We tend to accept data and arguments that validate our preexisting beliefs and ignore or discount anything that disagrees with our preexisting beliefs. This can lead to all sorts of trouble, especially when something genuinely new happens.

Approximately 1988 years ago in a disused quarry just outside the Joppa gate in Jerusalem something genuinely new happened. A dead man got up and left his tomb. We are still trying to get our imaginations around what that means. But one thing we know for certain, our assumptions about death and life were wrong. Letting go of our assumptions can be hard. The Sadducees could not do it. The question is, can we?

If that sounds too hard, perhaps this will help. Jesus will show you how and the Spirit is always happy to help if asked.

*Sadducees, just in case you are not up on first century Jewish religious politics, the Sadducees were the aristocratic faction of temple priests and wealthy land holders who exercised considerable control over Jerusalem. They were know for their extreme conservatism, like only accepting the Torah as scripture, not the prophets or other writings. Jesus appears to have really annoyed them.