The Sadducees, “which say that there is no resurrection” (Matthew 22:23), were questioning the Lord Jesus in this portion.  They were trying to trip him up with their questions.  In verses 24-28 we read that they said, “Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”  This was an odd question for them to ask because they did not believe in a resurrection at all.  In all likelihood, they hoped that the Lord would give into their way of thinking, and proclaim that there is no resurrection.  If not that, they may have hoped He would not be able to answer their question and be reduced to an ignorant and common man.

We have the Lord’s brilliant response in Matthew 22:29-32, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Rather than the Sadducees exposing the Lord’s ignorance, He exposed theirs!  They were ignorant of what the scriptures said and they were ignorant of what the Lord was capable of.  The Lord graciously explains to the Sadducees that in the resurrection, that time when all believers are raised from the dead and united with their bodies, there is no marriage.  Luke 20:36 says it like this, “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”  Just as the angels are eternal, so are the children of God.  Marriage is an earthly relationship.  In Heaven, we will be married to Christ!  The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

The Lord then goes on to use the book of Exodus to show these Sadducees that the teaching of life after death had been taught in the Old Testament scriptures.  Exodus 3:6 says, “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”  The Lord points out that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  Abraham was dead.  Isaac was dead.  Jacob was dead.  Each of these had received promises from God that had not been fulfilled.  We read of Abraham in Hebrews 11:9-10, “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  How was the Lord to fulfill these promises to these men?  Through resurrection!  The Apostle Paul asked in Acts 26:8, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?”

The Sadducees had no answer for the Lord’s impeccable logic.  Matthew 22:33 says, “And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.”  Astonished, but not converted.  These men were ‘willingly ignorant’ of the word of the Lord.  They had no desire to know Him or His teachings.  How sad.  How tragic.  (219.4)