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Mark’s first-century biography – page 36

And Sadducees came to him (Jesus of Nazareth, c. AD 30, Jerusalem), who state there to be no resurrection. 
These are the final few days before Jesus is crucified. He has walked about 50 miles to Jerusalem for that very purpose. He begins to make everything very plain to all in Jerusalem.

First (page 32), he empties the Temple of buyers, sellers and others, whose sole purpose in life was getting for themselves – profiting from others. He says that they are a den of thieves – thieving from others – and doing it all in God’s house which was to have been the place where people could pray, could meet with and be blessed by the living God. First problem: loving self.

Second (page 33), when questioned by the authorities about his authority for this upheaval, he shows that those authorities never responded truthfully to God’s message of repentance through John the Baptist. There was no point in him responding truthfully to their question. Second problem: no sorrowing.

Third (page 34), he does respond to their question through a parallel – the story of the vineyard, its creator/owner and its husbandmen. The owner, from afar, sought fruit. His servants were abused and killed. Eventually he sent his son. The husbandmen killed him as well so as to enjoy the owner’s vineyard without regard to its original owner/creator. The owner will come and give the vineyard to others who will be fruitful. Third problem: eliminating God.

Fourth (page 35), the authorities attempt to entrap him into rebellion against Caesar concerning the giving of tribute money. He makes it plain that it is they who are refusing to give to the LORD God what rightly belongs to God – their love. Fourth problem: rejecting God.  

‘He who has a firm will moulds the world to himself.’ (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and statesman, 1749-1832) 
And they questioned him, stating, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that, if a man’s brother may die and may leave behind a wife and may not procreate a child, his brother may for that purpose take the widow and may raise up seed for his brother. There were seven brothers and the first took a wife and, dying, sending out no seed. And the second took her and died leaving behind no seed. And the third likewise. And the seven sent out no seed. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they may rise, of which of them will she be wife because the seven had her as wife.” 

The elite Sadducees maintained that there was no resurrection of the dead. They devised this scenario which was based on the writings of Moses. Moses, who lived around 1350 BC, brought together five books which are included at the beginning of both Jewish and Christian Bibles. The Sadducees held that those were the only books that were worthy of their attention.

These men use the word “seed” four times. They seem to have held that this was the only way in which people continued (as it were) for ever. The fact that Moses initiated this arrangement for a childless man to have descendants confirmed (for them) “no resurrection”. Nothing but death and descendants.

Jesus explained to them, “Is it not through this that you are deceived - through knowing neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? Because when they may rise from among dead ones, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in the heavens.” 

The elite Sadducees are “deceived” because they have no knowledge of the Scriptures (including the five books of Moses) and no knowledge of God’s power to raise the dead.

‘Do you hate to be deceived? Then never deceive another.’ (John Chrysostom, Christian speaker, 347-307) 
“But as for the dead and their being raised, have you not discovered within the book of Moses in the record of the bush, how God spoke to him, stating, ‘I - the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of dead people, but of living.”

This quote is from Moses’ writings of the words of the Lord God when he met Moses at the burning bush in the desert c. 1350 BC. When that event took place Abraham (alive c. 2000 BC), his son Isaac and grandson Jacob were long dead.

But, c. 1350 BC, the LORD God referred to them as three people whose God, at that very time, is the LORD. They are, therefore, alive in c. 1350 BC.

“You are very deceived.”

In effect, everyone in AD 30 needs to know that there is life after death. Fifth problem: believing death is the end.

Sinner Syvret

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