The Sadducees confront Jesus with a question that can easily transport modern readers back to the days of mathematical dilemmas: “Train A is traveling 70 miles per hour. It leaves the station, heading toward a city 260 miles away. At the same time, Train B, traveling 60 miles per hour, leaves the city heading toward the station. When do the two trains meet?” These questions very quickly divide mathematical enthusiasts from the mathematically averse.
The Sadducees pose to Jesus the question about whose wife the woman married to seven brothers will be at the resurrection to test his theological acumen just as the train question tests mathematical dexterity. Their question raises their doubts about resurrection. Jesus circumvents the answers they expect. His answer shows them that they have focused on the wrong question.
We can become so fixated on what we think we know that we miss out on the beautiful things God has to teach us through others. As the saying goes, “We can’t know what we don’t know.” But we can remember that there are things we don’t know. God calls us to be like children gathered at the feet of a great teacher: always open to learning something new from the God who loves us more than we can imagine and from others with whom we share this beautiful planet.
What lesson can we learn from Jesus’ moment with the Sadducees? Perhaps we learn that we can find holiness in conversations with others. Those who differ from us can teach us, but we can only learn if we allow the space between ourselves and others to become fertile ground for teaching and learning, where each has a seed of wisdom for the other.
Enlightening God, create a sense of reverence within us for conversation. Help us not to miss your holiness among us. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will pass on the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you had to rely on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How do you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the ways God will answer your questions in unexpected ways?
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