God’s Life-Giving Word of Wisdom
Matthew 22:23-46: Certain religious leaders continue to challenge Jesus’s authority and question him about rising from death and about the Messiah. A teacher of the Law seeks to trap Jesus by asking him to state what he believes is the greatest commandment.
Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ”
The Question about Rising from Death
(Mark 12.18-27; Luke 20.27-40)
23 That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and claimed that people will not rise from death. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses said that if a man who has no children dies, his brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man's children. 25Now, there were seven brothers who used to live here. The oldest got married and died without having children, so he left his widow to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second brother, to the third, and finally to all seven. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28Now, on the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will she be? All of them had married her.”
29Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don't know the Scriptures or God's power. 30 For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 31Now, as for the dead rising to life: haven't you ever read what God has told you? He said, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead.”
33When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.
The Great Commandment
(Mark 12.28-34; Luke 10.25-28)
34When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together, 35 and one of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to trap him with a question. 36“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and the most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ 40The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
The Question about the Messiah
(Mark 12.35-37; Luke 20.41-44)
41When some Pharisees gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose descendant is he?”
“He is David's descendant,” they answered.
43“Why, then,” Jesus asked, “did the Spirit inspire David to call him ‘Lord’? David said,
44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here at my right side
until I put your enemies under your feet.’
45If, then, David called him ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be David's descendant?”
46No one was able to give Jesus any answer, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
The Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, did not believe in resurrection of the dead. What did they ask Jesus? How did Jesus respond? How did Jesus respond to the teacher of the Law who questioned him about the greatest commandment? Do you have any faith-related questions? If so, have you discussed them with anyone?
Lord God, you are the God of the living, and I seek to honor you. May all I do and say today reflect my love for you and a love for others as you have taught. Guide me in your truth. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
Those planning memorial services for loved ones who have died.
Matthew 25:1-13: By means of a parable, Jesus teaches about being watchful and ready to greet him when he returns.