Last week, Pastor Karen wrote in the blog and spoke on Sunday about asking the right questions. This week we are going to be extending that thought as we continue our journey through Mark chapter 12. The Text for this week is verses 18-27, where Jesus is approached by the Sadducees and asked about the resurrection, a thought they were not in agreement with. We have had the Pharisees and the Herodians testing Jesus in front of the crowds, as was shown with last week’s text on the paying of taxes, and this time it is the turn of a different religious sect.
We have been led to these passages of scripture for a reason, and as we move through Mark chapter 12, I have speaking into the sense that we are to be doing so through the lens of relationship – that is relating to God, to one another, and to the world. As we unpick these verses, both now, and further on Sunday during Virtual Church, I want for us to be asking these questions:
1. What does the text tell us about God?
2. What does it say about ourselves?
3. What are we going to do differently because of this?
The key for us in this text, I believe, is that Jesus takes the question asked, and turns it on its head, coming back at this group of well-to-do leaders, quoting a passage of scripture which they do not refute, but using it in a way which nobody before had done so.
“Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” (Mark 12:26-27)
As the Church we have to be asking questions, but we have to be asking the right questions so that we can get the right answers. We should not be asking questions to trap others, or to try to get the answers that we want (answers that will align with our political, theological, or societal views). Instead the questions we ask should be prayerfully considered and guided by one principle – The Kingdom!
But in order to be guided by this principle, we have to understand this principle. Simply put, the Kingdom is wherever we declare Jesus to be Lord. And in the passage we are looking at this week Jesus shows us this by indicating that God’s kingdom is primarily about the living and not the dead – it is not about an after-life, but about a now-life.