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Doctrinal Differences
A New Group Tries to Trap Jesus
Last week we saw the Herodians and the Pharisees try and trap Jesus with a question about paying taxes.
We established that the Herodians and Pharisees were being sent and empowered by the Sanhedrin.
The political group that governed the Jew.
In this passage we see another group, the Sadducees who were also most likely sent by the Sanhedrin try and trap Jesus.
The Sadducees were a Jewish religious group most likely associated with the priests (Acts 5:17).
They most likely ran the workings of the Temple.
They were a small group numerically, but they held great political influence.
However, they were not popular among the masses.
The Jewish Historian Josephus writes about them, describing them as well educated men that held prominent positions.
The Sadducees represented the urban, wealthy, sophisticated class and were centered in Jerusalem.
When Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70, they disappeared from history.
The Doctrinal Differences
The Pharisees and the Sadducees had some serious doctrinal differences.
The Pharisees stressed the sovereignty of God, but the Sadducees believed that the affairs of men and of history were determined not by a sovereign God but solely by the free will of humans.
The Pharisees believed in angels and demons, while the Sadducees denied the existence of both.
The Canon of Scripture was also a conflict between the two parties.
The Pharisees believed that the Scriptures contained the Torah, which is the first five books of the OT, plus the Prophets and the Writings, the Wisdom Literature.
They also stressed the oral teachings of the Rabbi’s
The Sadducees only recognized the Torah as the Word of God.
So any writings beyond the book of Deuteronomy could not be used for the construction of Theology.
And the oral traditions were nonsense.
It was the differing opinion of the cannon that contributed to their difference in thinking about the resurrection.
The Doctrine of the Resurrection
The doctrine states that the souls of people live after death, and that when God brings history to a close, He will raise the bodies of all human beings from the grave and reunite them to their souls, with the righteous being welcomed to eternal life with God and the unrighteous being sent into eternal torment.
Because the Sadducees could see no teaching on life after death in the Torah, they were convinced there would be no resurrection at the end of the age.
The Pharisees built their belief in the resurrection through the teachings of the prophets, and believed in life after death.
The Question
The Leverite Law
The question they were asking Jesus revolved around what was called the leverite law, which God gave to ancient Israel.
It was designed to provide descendants for a man who died childless so that his family line could maintain it’s property.
The Sadducees obviously felt that the suggestion of the resurrection would create unsolvable problems.
Jesus Solves the Problem
When the Dead Rise
They will not marry or be married.
There will be no need for marriage.
They will be like the angles in heaven.
No need to marry or have descendants.
Totally devoted to God.
No need for the workings of our world.
The God of the Living
Jesus quotes an OT passage from Exodus 3:1-6.
This is significant, because He did not take them to any of the Historical Books, to any of the Prophetic Books, or to the Writings.
He took them to the Torah, the section of the Scriptures they accepted, which they believed said nothing about the resurrection.
Jesus shows them that God is the God of the living, not the dead.
Jesus shows them that God would not speak in this manner if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not alive beyond the grave.
“I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Not “I was”.
The Root of the Problem
You Don’t Know the Scriptures
Jesus said there is a simple root to their problem: They did not understand the Scriptures.
We have this same problem today.
I think 100% of our theological errors happen because we do not know the Scriptures.
If You Don’t Know the Scriptures, you don’t grasp the Power of God.
We seem to live as if our lives are totally in the grip of the powers and forces of this world.
We don’t seem to live under the power of God, the creator of the heavens and the earth.
God is bigger then marriage, then resurrections, He is bigger then anything we could ever imagine.
Many of the theological questions today, we would not have if we knew the Scriptures and understood the power of God.
The Bible is God’s Primary Way of Communicating to Us.
We must dive into Scripture to grow in our relationship with the creator.
He teaches us and speaks to us through His Word.
We believe in the infallibility of Scripture, that it is God breathed and fully useful for teaching, and rebuking.
Scripture is the guide to living a holy life, and knowing God’s Power is the substance that helps us understand and live by Grace.
Big Idea: Once we have given our lives to Jesus through faith, we become His disciple.
We learn to follow Him through the Scriptures, and are empowered by Him through His Spirit.
This reveals the power of God to us, so we live in reverent fear, rather then by worldly passions.
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