MUSINGS – November 18, 2018


Mark 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say that people will never come back to life, came to Jesus. They asked him, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If a man dies and leaves a wife but no child, his brother should marry his widow and have children for his brother.’ There were seven brothers. The first got married and died without having children. The second married her and died without having children. So did the third. None of the seven brothers had any children. Last of all, the woman died. When the dead come back to life, whose wife will she be? The seven brothers had married her.” Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power? When the dead come back to life, they don’t marry. Rather, they are like the angels in heaven. Haven’t you read in the book of Moses that the dead come back to life? It’s in the passage about the bush, where God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ He’s not the God of the dead but of the living. You’re badly mistaken!”

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives, Each wife had seven sacks, Each sack had seven cats, Each cat had seven kits: Kits, cats, sacks, and wives, How many were there going to St. Ives?

This nursery rhyme riddle has been around for a very long time but people are still fooled by the misdirection of it. It sounds like it is a math problem with the number of kits, cats, sacks, and wives. However, the answer is in the first line, “As I was going to St. Ives.” Only one person was going to St. Ives.

The Sadducees attempted to trick the Lord using a similar method. They tried to bury their true intent in a long drawn out example with seven brothers who each consecutively married the same woman. The true question was not about marriage it was about resurrection. But Jesus was not fooled and answered their true question by explaining what they had missed in Moses’s teachings.

In yesterday’s Musings we had the story of the Pharisees trying to entrap Jesus and how they failed. One of the points of doctrine that the Pharisees and Sadducees disagreed on was life after death. Pharisees believed in it and the Sadducees did not. So their test was designed not only to entrap Jesus but also to confirm their belief that death was final.

Once again be careful of those who wish to debate with you about your beliefs. Ask yourself why they are asking the question. Are they seeking the truth or are they just trying to justify their beliefs? Be wise. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidence.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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