To read the texts click on the texts: Tob 3:1-11; Mk 12:18-27
Though belief in the resurrection had developed around two centuries prior to the birth of Jesus, there were many Jews who did not accept it.
The Sadducees, especially, were known to regard belief in the resurrection as not justified by the scriptures or mentioned in them (Acts 23:8). In their question to Jesus to point out the absurdity of the resurrection, they use the custom of Levirate marriage mentioned in Deuteronomy 25:5 which states that the wife of a dead brother shall not be married outside the family to a stranger, but by her husband’s brother (Genesis 38:8). Their question is that if there were seven brothers and all seven had the same woman as wife, whose wife would she be in the resurrection.
In his response Jesus first corrects their misunderstanding about what the resurrection means and implies. In the resurrection there will no longer be human institutions like marriage and so the question of being given in and taken in marriage does not arise. Humans in the resurrected life will no longer be constrained by the limits or relationships of their earthly bodies. He then uses scripture to establish that resurrection is indeed mentioned in the scripture and is about God’s revelation to Moses in Exodus 3:6-16 as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and if these are mentioned though they are dead, then he must be the God of the living, since they live in him. God is not God of the dead but the living.
Too much of concern with the after life or heaven and hell may lead to our not living fully this life on earth. Our heaven at this moment is here on earth and we must strive towards making it as enjoyable as possible not only for ourselves but also for those around us.
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