Then some Sadducees arrived. These people claim that there is no resurrection and they asked Jesus this question, “Master, in the Scripture Moses told us: ‘If anyone dies leaving a wife but no children, his brother must take the wife, and the child to be born will be regarded as the child of the deceased man.’ Now, there were seven brothers; the first married a wife, but he died without children; and the second and the third took the wife; in fact all seven died leaving no children. Last of all the woman died. On the day of the resurrection, to which of them will the woman be wife? For the seven had her as wife.”
And Jesus replied, “Taking husband or wife is proper to people of this world, but for those who are considered worthy of the world to come and of resurrection from the dead, there is no more marriage. Besides, they cannot die for they are like the angels. They are sons and daughters of God because they are born of the resurrection. Yes, the dead will be raised, as Moses revealed at the burning bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For God is God of the living and not of the dead, for to him everyone is alive.”
Some teachers of the Law then agreed with Jesus, “Master, you have spoken well.” They didn’t dare to ask him anything else.
Is it necessary to remind ourselves that the Sadducees were the most secularized Jews, and their faith nearer to pagans? In any case, they were politically powerful.
In the Gospel of today we find a controversy between them and Jesus. His teaching shall be wonderful. We are always anxious to know the other life.
The case they present is perfect according to the Law of Moses and the result seems really impossible: one woman with seven husbands.
Jesus points to marriage as an earthly realty. We can extend these visions to other aspects: nourishment, work and resting, sleeping, and sicknesses. What does it mean to be like angels? This is our hope.
But Jesus stresses his argument with a biblical quotation: the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in the presence of God. That was also the tradition of Israel (Pharisees, and Scribes). This is also our faith and hope. As the African Tradition says: “Dead are not dead” (Les morts ne sont pas morts).
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