Like the Angels
23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
The Sadducees really knew how to make a question. They told a whole tragic story of a poor woman who had to marry seven brothers who all died and left no kids. All of this was done to try and trap Jesus into saying something that would create problems for him. As always, Jesus had the perfect answer.
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
Jesus says two painful things here at the beginning. You don’t know the scriptures or the power of God. What a thing to say to master religious leaders yet it was true. They were looking at heaven through human eyes. They could not fathom the power or creativity of God. He then says that in the resurrection we will be like the angels. This statement has created many theories and beliefs. Some say that we will be sexless, neither male nor female in heaven but that doesn’t work because God created humans male and female. Others say we simply don’t marry which is very possible but actually misses the point. The key is in saying that we will be like the angels. In truth we know very little about angels. We know there are seraphim and cherubim. We know they can fly, transform and be invisible. We know they live in heaven and can move very quickly but most importantly we know they work for God. In fact the word angel simply means ‘messenger’. An angel only does two thing in the Bible- they work for God and praise God. It is these two points that Jesus was trying to emphasize. We will be like the angels in that, these little earthly things we do here will not be in our minds- but only God will be.
Jesus then uses the Bible to show that when God speaks about his children, he speaks in the present as if they all, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive. That is because while we’re stuck here in one moment in time, God is in every moment of eternity. He is with them in the past, with us now and with all of us in the future in heaven. God is the God of the living.
Pr. Steven Couto