Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The testing and examining of the Slave-Savior (11:27— 12:44) took place during the days immediately before the feast of the Passover. Jews from many different places had come to Jerusalem for this feast. The Lord’s cleansing of the temple aroused the attention of the people. First, the chief priests, scribes, and elders came to the Lord Jesus with a question concerning His authority (11:27-33). After the chief priests, scribes, and elders were defeated by Him, the Pharisees and Herodians tried to catch Him in His speech (12:13-17). However, they also were defeated by the Slave-Savior.
In 12:18-27 the Sadducees came to the Lord Jesus. The Sadducees were a sect among the Jews (Acts 5:17). They did not believe in the resurrection, nor in angels, nor in spirits (Acts 23:8). Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were denounced by John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus as a brood of vipers (Matt. 3:7; 12:34; 23:33). The Lord warned His disciples against their doctrines (Matt. 16:6, 12). While the Pharisees were supposed to be orthodox, the Sadducees may be considered ancient modernists.
In Mark 12:18-27 the Sadducees thought that they could defeat the Lord Jesus regarding the matter of resurrection. They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if anyone’s brother should die and leave behind a wife, and leave no child, his brother should take the wife and raise up seed to his brother. There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and dying, left no seed; and the second took her, and died, leaving behind no seed; and the third similarly; and the seven left no seed. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise, which one’s wife will she be, for the seven had her as wife?” (vv. 19-23). The Sadducees thought that they were very clever in asking the Lord such a question.
The Lord Jesus said to them, “Are you not deceived because of this—not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God?” (v. 24). Knowing the Scriptures is one thing, and knowing the power of God is another. We need to know both. Here “the Scriptures” refer to the verses of the Old Testament concerning resurrection, and “the power of God” refers to the power of resurrection.
The Lord went on to say that in the resurrection there will not be any marriage: “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels in the heavens” (v. 25).
The Lord Jesus, however, did not stop here. He continued by saying, “But concerning the dead, that they are raised, did you not read in the book of Moses, at the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are greatly deceived” (vv. 26-27). Since God is the God of the living and is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, therefore these three who had died, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will be resurrected. This is the way the Lord Jesus expounded the Scriptures—not only by the letter, but by the life and power implied within them.
In His word to the Sadducees in verse 26, the Lord Jesus was actually referring to Himself, for He, as the Angel of Jehovah, was the One who spoke to Moses in Exodus 3. Here the Lord seems to be saying, “I was the One speaking to Moses. I, your God, was the Angel who spoke to him from within the bush. Furthermore, Jehovah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If they will not be resurrected, how could God be called their God? He would never be known as the God of the dead—He is the God of the living. Therefore, this title indicates resurrection.”
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