Luke 20.27-38

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What A Fool Believes

Luke 20:27 ESV
27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
Controversy. it is loaded in Luke 20. The Jews question Jesus’ authority. Jesus has told the parable of the master of the vineyard, where the father sends servants to the vineyard and finally sends his Son and the son is killed. Jesus identifies himself as the sotne that the builders rejected. This chapter is full of controversy.
To fully understand this, you need to know that the Sadducees were relatively more conservative thant the pharisees. They did not accept anyone adding to their belief system. They did not believe in angels, spirits, or the resurrection of the dead. Their point was that Moses did not write about any of these doctrines.
Remember that the Sadduccees were the ones who opposed the apostles preaching of the resurrection in the book of Acts. They also wanted to kill Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead.
And, since the OT says very little about what happens after death- what the future state looks like.
Greek thought divided the sould and the body, and believed in a future after death. The pharisees tended to lean with the greek thought on this issue.
The Sadducees refused to even admit the basic teachings of the OT concerning the future of those who die, and actually didn’t bank on any future existence that was based on rewards or punishment.
Luke 20:28 ESV
28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.
This question is a hypothetical question
It is based on Levirate marriage custom . The point was the brother of a deceased man would take his brother’s widowed wife in order to carry on the name of the husband who died childless.
The question the Sadducees are asking is not only an aberration, it is absurd at its roors. Their question assumed the idea that the resurrection involves sexual reunion with one’s earthly partner.
Luke 20:29 ESV
29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children.
Luke 20:30 ESV
30 And the second
Luke 20:31 ESV
31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died.
Luke 20:32 ESV
32 Afterward the woman also died.
Luke 20:33 ESV
33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”
Luke 20:34 ESV
34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage,
Luke 20:35 ESV
35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage,
Jesus is actually saying it is not correct to project earthly conditions into the future state (34-45)
Luke 20:36 ESV
36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Eternal life is actually the life of the age to come.
Luke 20:37 (ESV)
37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
Jesus has just told us that Moses taught the resurrection. If you are a Sadduccee, you’ve just been told by Jesus that you missed something in the writings of Moses- because remember, they don’t believe in the resurrection because Moses didn’t teach that.


So, how can this be?
Let me begin by taking you for a moment to a verse in John- John 8.58. The reason we are going here is because it begs the same question, “How can this be”?
Let’s look at John 8.57-58
John 8:57–58 ESV
57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Now, we know that Jesus has had a conversation with the Jews that went like this: John 8.48-59
John 8:48–59 ESV
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Now , you can see why this is the perfect text to go to- because Jesus is talking about eternal life.
Explain this passage, deeply..
Why did they pick up stones? Because of what he said in John 8.58- “Before Abraham was, I am”.
Now that phrase, “I am” is “Eigo Eimi”- I exist. The implication, which the Jews knew immediately- was that Jesus was identifying himself with God. YOu may wonder why I say that- well, they knew their scriptures far better than you or I do… they knew that Jesus was pointing back to Moses’ burning bush experience.
Which, is exactly what Jesus is pointing to in our text this morning with the Sadduccees- same exact chapter and verse.
You see, when Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am”, he was identifying himself as God. the eternally existent God. Yes, the Sadduccees knew the OT better than anything else.
In Exodus 3, you know the story, but allow me to remind you. The children of Israel were in bondage in egypt for 400 years.430 years. God is about to let them go, and he chooses Moses who is hiding out because he had slain an Egyptian.
God appears to Moses in a burning bush. Moses argues his qualifications.
First, look at Exodus 3.6
Exodus 3:6 ESV
6 And he said, “I am the God of your 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 at God.
Now follow through the story. Finally, Moses says, if they ask me what is your name, what do I tell them? And look at what God says in Exodus 3.14
Exodus 3:14 ESV
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
And there you have the issue in all of the scriptures. Iam who Iam- the eternally existent one.
Now to answer the question, Why are the Jews going to stone Jesus in John 8? He claimed to be God.
Now in this apssage, specifically in the 37th verse, Luke 20.37
Luke 20:37 ESV
37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.
God is identifying himself as the eternal God.- and being an eternal God he is the god of eternal people- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Luke 20:38 ESV
38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”
vs. 37-38 says that the believer already participates in the life of the eternal, but its full expression in resurrection will wait until the new age that is coming.
In vs. 36, where Jesus said that they are equal to the angels- his point is that in the new age believers do not become angels, but rather share in certain characteristics that angels have. Angels do not have the sexual aspect to them. They are not boys and girls.
However, believers will have mutual recognition and love as in this life.
When Jesus mentions Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, he is invoking Moses- at the burning bush- where he referred to Abraham Isaac and Jacob in their existence which lies not only in the past- but in the future. God is their God.
Jesus is pointing out that the Sadduccees question was limiting God’s power and denying God’s word. They put a governor on their god.
Resurrection is not reconstruction- it is not a refurbishment of the existing body. Paul, in the book of 1 Corinthians said our current body is but a seed- but the resurrection body would be a glorious fruit and flower.
Jesus’ body, in resurrection, was the same as before his death but different. he could eat, his disciples recognized and touched him- but he also could walk through closed doors, change his appearance, and vanish in a millisecond.
Our future life is not a continuation of this life but new and improved life.. We Ford Pintos, Chevrolet Chevettes, and AMC Gremlins here- but there we will be Cadillac Escalades. We will be ourselves- but there will be no more death, disease, etc., And because of that fact there will be no need for marriage or procreation.
We do not become angels in death.
In heaven we share the image of Jesus- and we are much higher than the angels. In scripture, angels appear as humans, but they are spirit beings without sexuality. We are like them in that way- no marriage or childbearing in heaven.
you see, the sadduccees were in essence denying the power of God.
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob were referred to by Moses because he was affirming that these three patriarchs were very much alive even though they had died generations before him. And the Saddducees God was so much smaller thant that.

When You Limit God’s Ability, You Deny God’s Sovereignty

Sovereignty- supreme power and authority,
The question put to Jesus this morning is meant to prove that there is no resurrection. But its imlications is that God is not powerful enough to raise the dead. We know this, because part of the calling card to be a Saduccee is to deny the resurrection. And their question to Jesus was predicated on there being a resurrection even though they didn’t believe it.
Christian, how many times have you said, “I can’t do this any longer.” (You define your “this”)
I can’t forgive this person.
I can’t take care of these children any longer.
I can’t deal with this person.
I can’t do this again.
What are the possibilities? Look at Matthew 19.26
Matthew 19:26 ESV
26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrections- implicit in that statement is the fact that God cannot raise someone from the dead.
Mark 14:36 ESV
36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Mark 14:32–36 ESV
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Note, Jesus said “All things are possible for God.” Jesus’ prayer was not predicated upon life being a bed of roses with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was far too realistic for that thougth. Jesus’ prayer- and his entire life- was predicated on this simple principle- God can do anything. He created it all, he is God.
But note also, that while Jesus had a will- “Father , take this from me.”, his entire prayer ws predicated on the fact that the God who could may not because He has a will of his own. Grasp that for a moment.
How often do you pray, “Thy will be done”, not out of faith but resignation? Think about it. Jesus told us to pray, “Thy will be done” and it’s a good thing. But how often do we pray it out of resignation instead of faith?
My best childhood friend came to our neighborhood in the summer before first grade. He moved in directly across the street from my home. His parents were divorced- his mother lived with her boryfriend in the house across the street. We spent every weekend sleeping out, we did everything together.
Eddie’s dad had weekends with his son. Every weekend Eddie would begin talking about his dad on about thursday that week. He’d pack a bag, he’d sit on that front proch stepevery friday night. For the entirety of my elementary school years, we’d walk home from the bus stop and Eddie would proudly tell me that his dad was picking him up that night after work. And it never happened.
Mom overdosed.
mom depression- climbed a wall and was going to jump Dad talked her down.
This kid had no life.
My dad, with five kids and a 6 pasenger car would load us up and haul us to Cedar POint- but Eddie would go. Because my dad would see that he went.
And every weekend, on Friday night, there he’d sit with his bag on his front porch looking down the street for the car that never came. But you know why he sat on that front porch? He wanted to believe in something- his father. He believed in him.
Or did he? You know what happened eventually as we moved on into our teen years? He quit believing. He quit packing the bag. He quit looking down the street. And guess what? He became exactly like Cat Steven’s song, the cat’s in the cradle. He grew up just like him.
But my point this morning is the little boy in elementary school sitting on the front porch with his bags packed looking down the street. That’s faith. That little boy knew full well that his dad could. He simply learned he never would.
And eventually he resigned himself to the fact that his father had a will-he just exercised that will to the detriment of his son.
When Jesus prayed, he prayed knowing that anything was possible with God. But he also prayed by faith that God would do his will- with Paul, all things work together for the good to those that love God and are called according to His purposes.
When we pray “Thy will be done” we should be praying it knowing that God can but may or may not- because He is God.

When You Limit God’s Ability, You Deny God’s Sovereignty

Matters of faith generally rest on 2 words and how you use them. “Can’t” and “won’t”.
The Sadducees were not that different from everybody else. Excepth in matters of faith. They didn’t believe God could raise someone rfrom the dead. And that tells you all you need to know about their God.
How about you? What are you dealing with? Do you believe God could solve it. ?
All things are possible with God. He can.
How will you live if He doesn’t? What will it say about your faith and your God?
Do you Want to know what a Fool Believes? He believes it’s ok to fake it.
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