What I’m Thinking: Alive

One of the things Jesus mentioned is that in God’s sight, life and love extend beyond the boundaries of our understanding.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the twentieth chapter of Luke’s gospel (Luke 20:27-38), Jesus’ argument with a group of Sadducees in the Jerusalem temple about the reality of resurrection.

The Sadducees were one of three significant schools of thought amongst 1st century Jews. They were primarily associated with the Jerusalem temple. They were dedicated to worship there; they believed that that was the summit of not just religious faith but religious piety. Among the things that they — well, in this case — did not believe, was they did not believe in a resurrection. Those among whom Jesus had been raised, primarily amongst Pharisees and among Pharisaic Judaism, they did have something of an inclination towards believing in a physical resurrection of the body after someone had died.

The Sadducees decided, or at least this group of Sadducees decided, to challenge Jesus on this when he was visiting the Temple, and they came up with a somewhat convoluted story. Essentially the notion that a woman had married a series of brothers, each one when another brother had passed away. In the resurrection, demanded the Sadducees, whose wife will she be?

Jesus responded by saying that the resurrection does not look like the life that we know. The resurrection is different. It’s not about marriage, although I think we can assume it’s about relationships. In the resurrection, the ways of living are not the same, and so expecting that is to misunderstand the resurrection right at the start.

Jesus’ Scriptural demonstration for this was… I… you know, it certainly wouldn’t have been a Biblical illustration that would occur to me. He said that this has been demonstrated by Moses at the burning bush, when God at the burning bush said that “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Now God is the God of the living, said Jesus, and so therefore to God, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must be alive.

Of course, it was within a few days that Jesus demonstrated the reality of resurrection in a fairly persuasive way — although I doubt many if any of the Sadducees who challenged him on that day ever encountered the risen Christ. The point remains, however, that to God we are all alive: those of us who are in the course of our journey through this world, and those of us who have crossed that boundary and entered into the new life, the resurrection life, if you will. To God, all of these people are alive, and to God, all of these people are loved.

Now the form in which that love is apparent to us, well, I suspect it will be different. That is, we know God’s love in certain ways here in this world. I’m quite sure that we will know God’s love in different, new, and amazing ways in the next — but the love remains the same. The presence remains the same. The God of the living is the same.

So as you think about those who have gone before and as you contemplate the time when you yourself will across the river Jordan, be assured of the presence and the constancy and the faithfulness of our God. We are loved here. We will be loved there. God’s love is now and forever.

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

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on October 31, 2022

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1 Comment

  1. by Janet

    On October 31, 2022

    In Luke, Jesus answers challenging questions, such as the Resurrection. If I could ask Jesus one question, what would it be? How would Jesus respond? That’s what I’m thinking.

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