What I’m Thinking: Gotcha

They asked Jesus a “gotcha” question – but he wasn’t playing that game. Not that day.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about a conversation that Jesus had with some Sadducees. It’s described in the twentieth chapter of Luke (Luke 20:27-38). The Sadducees were another strand of first century Judaism. Jesus himself was raised among the Pharisees – probably identified as a Pharisee throughout his life – and the Sadducees and the Pharisees disagreed on some fairly fundamental things. When the Sadducees came to challenge Jesus, they intended not merely to challenge him, but also the entire Pharisaic world view that he represented.

So they asked him a “gotcha” question. They asked him a question which they did not expect would have an answer.

They asked a question about Levirate marriage, the practice of a brother marrying the widow of another brother, both to see that she had economic security, and to provide the family with its best opportunity of producing another generation.

Well, said Jesus, the premise of the question doesn’t make sense. Life after the resurrection is not like life that we know. It’s not about economic security for women. It’s not about producing another generation for our family. Relationships shift with the emergence into new life.

“Gotcha questions” deserve that kind of response, that kind of pulling out of the underlying assumptions that change the question from an earnest one, from a real desire for learning, for conversation, for growth, into a mere dismissal of someone else’s thought, world view, experience, and faith.

But I think it also tells us something about the ways in which our world shifts and we must shift our understandings of what may come.

And of course it also tells us that however much we might desire to know what the resurrection, what the new life, what the final realm of God will be like, it is different than we expect, different than we imagine, different than we dream.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on November 4, 2019

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