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Lesson # Matt. 22:23
Study Material - Matt. 22:23
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
23 The same [en] [ekeinos] day [hemera] came [proserchomai] to him [autos] the Sadducees [Saddoukaios] , which [ho] say [lego] that there is [einai] no [me] resurrection [anastasis] , and [kai] asked [eperotao] him [autos] , KJV-Interlinear
23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Him and questioned Him, NAS
Test question number two of three, is about to be put to Jesus, by the Sadducees. They are a group that claim their roots in the Levitical Priesthood, holding the High Priest position and other high offices of the Temple.
Not to long before this day, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said to the co-conspirators, 'You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish,' John 11:47-50, Mark 14:1-2. 'From that day on,' John noted, 'they planned together to kill Him,' verse 53.
The Sadducees were the wealthy aristocrats. They controlled the Temple and its functions, including the very lucrative sales activities of sacrificial animals within the Temple court area. Prior to the time of the previous day, when Jesus ran the merchants out of the Temple, the Sadducees did not pay much attention to Him.
They occupied the majority of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish council of the time. They received their power by the grace of Rome, and consequently they were pro-Rome. This was totally in contrast and in opposition with the attitude of the Pharisees who were anti-Rome. Yet, now that Jesus had come along and shut their money machine down, He had become a very real threat to their livelihood and source of income.
Another thing we need to note is that Jesus had attended the Passover and most probably other feasts for many years during His lifetime, but only now at this particular time in history did He take such bold actions against the 'establishment' if Judea. At other times when enemies approached with ill intent, He quietly faded away. It was not His time, as He would so often state. But now it was His time. And He pushed all the right buttons not only in His answers to their deceitful questioning, but in His actions as He attacked the very foundation of the religious leadership of the time.
The Sadducees were a corrupt group. Along with the other primary groups - the Pharisees, the Zealots, and the Essenes - the focus of Jewish faith was not on the scriptures as God had intended, but was more oriented to politics, and to daily life style.
The Zealots were a violent organization who would have been seen today as terrorists of sorts, against the Romans.
The Essenes were a reclusive group who spent their time copying the scriptures and trying to live a reclusive life or purity.
The Pharisees were the largest of the groups and we have studied them quite a bit already. They held the leadership positions of the many local synagogues throughout the region.
One of the most prominent beliefs of the Sadducees was that they did not believe in a resurrection. They believed that you were born, that you lived, and you died, and that was it.
If that were truly the case then there would be no hope, no incentive to live a good life. One could just go out and do anything in this jungle of life and if lucky could have a good life by defeating all who stand in ones way, or if unlucky, would become or succumb to the many greater powers of life. To become a slave or one the vast numbers of the deprived and oppressed in life.
In the animal world such is the case. They live and they die. Animals have body and that is all. Their life is in the blood as the scriptures state, Lev. 17:11, or biological as we understand it, just as our body is biological and when we die, our body (our biological part) goes into the grave and disintegrates.
But we are different than the animals, we have a soul, which is where our human life resides, and for those who believe in Christ, there is a third component, the human spirit where God imputes eternal life giving us the privilege of living with God forever in heaven. Animals lack these last two components in their being.
The Sadducees in rejecting the resurrection in fact reject the very God they proclaim to worship. They maintain that Moses wrote the only five books of the scriptures, however Gods promise to Adam, of a savior, is overlooked in that if there is no resurrection then there is no need for a savior. If life ends with physical death, then what need is there for a priesthood. Who does the priesthood serve anyway? And for what purpose? To sell animals for sacrifice, for profit? What did the animal sacrifices mean if not to teach the work of the savior on the Cross and to teach fellowship and the spiritual life? It would all have no purpose. But they founded their faith on the basis of teaching that was written by Moses some 1500 years earlier. Moses was dead, so what effect would his word have on anyone? They received their power and their wealth, their political influence through the workings of the Temple, the sacrifices, and through the commercial enterprise within the Temple. But in 70 A.D., it all came to a very sudden and disastrous and violent end. The Temple ceased to exist, the Sadducees ceased to exist, and the priesthood ceased to exist. What man fails or refuses to resolve the wrongs of this world for himself, then God will resolve them for him. Sometimes it is not a pretty sight.
So they did not believe in a resurrection, but now they come to Jesus in their hypocrisy, and pretend a very unrealistic scenario. They think that they will make Jesus to look the fool, but it is really they who are the fools. How can anyone compete or even dare to contest with God?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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