Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage from Luke 20:27-40 shows a disconnect between Jesus and the Sadducees. We deal with the same kind of disconnects in today’s society. The Scripture has a particular way of looking at the created order and how the world works by God’s providence. Our fallen world has a very different set of ideas.
The issue the Sadducees ask about is one which is timely for us as well. It’s about the ultimate nature of the marital relationship. This is an issue which has come near to pulling American society apart in the past sixty years or so. The Sadducees wanted to view marriage as an eternal relationship and to use their earthly understanding of marriage as a proof that an eternal resurrection made no sense. Our secular world in America has tried to view marriage solely as a relationship of affection, thus not a picture of the relationship of Christ and the Church, as described in Ephesians chapter five. The outcome of this re-visioning of marriage is that it is easily contracted, easily broken, and does not have the exclusive elements such as man/woman, relational fidelity, and a lifelong covenant which has been accepted in definitions of marriage throughout much of history, and which mirror the biblical relationship of Christ and the Church.
Jesus’ response to the Sadducees is that they have misunderstood the nature of eternity and so have applied a temporal construct to the eternal situation. If our earthly marriages exist in the same way for eternity as they do in time, there’s going to be a whole lot of confusion. However, if their primary goal is to depict the redeeming love of Christ for His Church and the dependence of the Church on Chirst, there’s no eternal problem. The earthly marriage will pass away when the eternal reality is ushered in.
Marriage is good. Yet the goal of all our living and dying is eternity, in which marriage will pass away. That’s the true good.
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