Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
It takes a while to get to this point – where Jesus answers their question. You’ve got to admit, their question rambles on for a while.
But look at what Jesus doesn’t do. He doesn’t interrupt them. He doesn’t cut them off. He doesn’t say, “Stop, I know where you’re going so why waste time.” He lets them get their question out. He waits patiently for them to finish.
Now, the Bible is silent about whether Jesus did anything while they told their story. Did he roll his eyes? Sighed? Tapped his fingers or feet? Throw up his hands in disgust? Or did he do something else to express his impatience with them?
I don’t think Jesus would have made it on talk radio or television. They jump in, over, and overtop of each other all the time. But Jesus lets them get the whole story out before utterly and totally destroying their argument.
And how does he start? He starts with a question. But the question has an assumed answer. Even though Jesus asks whether they know the scriptures or the power of God, he implies that they do not. And he goes on to address their two parts failure.
Part 1 – they don’t know the scriptures. They say that they are believers in God, they use spiritual sounding words, but according to Jesus they don’t know God’s words. This is like many people today. They like to talk about God, who he is, what he does, how he acts, but they don’t have a clue about who he really is. God has shown himself, revealed himself through the scriptures. So, if we really want to know about him, we need to start there.
Part 2 – they don’t know the power of God. They’ve put God into a box, they got all their bases covered. They’ve got God all figured out. They’ve got this world, and the whole universe for that matter, totally wired. They know what God can and cannot do. They know what God can and cannot accomplish. They’ve found and defined the boundaries of God.
They really don’t know God at all. The truth about God is right there for them to see, but it’s not getting through. Seeing is always connected with knowing, but not in this case. The images go into their eyes but doesn’t connect with them seeing the image in their mind.
Jesus puts their lack of knowledge about God on full display. He doesn’t talk about “if” the dead will be raised, but “when.” They definitely will be raised from the dead. You may not be able to prove it, you might not be able to see it coming, but Jesus speaks about it with great certainty.
Don’t these two failures sound like people all around us today? How many people really know God’s word? How many people put a premium and priority on knowing the scriptures?
Yes, lots of people receive a daily 5-minute devotion on their cell phone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Yes, some of people listen to sermons or messages while they drive, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many people also read books about the lives of prominent Christian leaders, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.
But how many people get alone with God and the scriptures?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
We hurry up to make it through an intersection when the light turns yellow. We hurry up when getting close to an open parking space and we see another car approaching. We hurry up and get things ready on time when guests are coming over the house.
But do we put in the time and effort to know God and his word well? Are we pressing ourselves and our schedules to carve out time to know God and his word?
Neither the Sadducees nor we do it. We’re both guilty of neglecting this most vital part of life. And because we don’t get to know God and his scriptures, there’s no way that we can know about his power. We’ve got to get to know God first. Then personal knowledge and experience about his power comes. It’s always in this order.
So, don’t be an “error because” person. Stop and make time to get to know God’s scriptures. This leads to knowing God.