Mark 12:18-27 – The Resurrection of the Dead

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Mark 12:18

  1. The Sadducees were a small but influential movement, largely made up of members of the clergy or upper classes, and were often opposed to the more popular Pharisees.
  2. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, a future judgment, or the existence of angels and spirits, which led to quarrels with the Pharisees (Acts 23:6-8). They accepted only the Torah, the Pentateuch, as authoritative.

Mark 12:23

  1. Moses writes that if a man dies without leaving a male heir, his unmarried brother should marry his widow to give him an heir so that his name can live on (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
    1. Since the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, they now try to show how absurd the belief in the resurrection is by inventing a story where 7 brothers all die without having succeeded in producing an heir.

Mark 12:24

  1. The mistake the Sadducees made was that they assumed that life after death works the same way it does here on earth. Jesus informs the Sadducees that this is not the case and that their question is therefore irrelevant.
  2. The reason for the Sadducees’ mistaken belief was that they understood neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
    1. What good is it to a man if he knows all of Scripture by heart but lacks the ability to understand Scripture?
    1. What good is it to a person if he understands what Scripture says but does not believe that God has the power to fulfill his promises?

Mark 12:25

  1. One of the reasons for getting married, as I said, is to have children. If humanity did not continually produce new children, humanity would undoubtedly soon die out. But since the resurrected man will no longer die, there will not be the same need to produce new human beings and therefore we humans will be like the angels who do not need to have children.

Mark 12:26

  1. Since the Sadducees only accepted the Pentateuch as their authority, Jesus quotes Exodus 3:6 to show that they are wrong.
  2. Since the Pentateuch teaches that God is the God of Abraham, there must be an afterlife because Abraham is dead.
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