Saturday, April 2, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors


Mark 12:18   Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying,  19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’  20 There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children;  21 and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise;  22 none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died.  23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.”

Mark 12:24   Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?  25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.  26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  27 He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”


This whole scenario is a bit odd. The Sadducees were the wealthy individuals of the higher social class. They were materialists in the sense that they didn’t believe in life after death and therefore everything they did was for gain in this lifetime. There would be no real reason to come and question Jesus about the resurrection for the concept was of no consequence to them. What they wanted to do was to try and stump him with a question they felt would be too difficult for him. Somehow they were trying to disprove his authority with “smoke and mirrors” — talking about something that was not their real concern.

Jesus could not be fooled and he turns the entire question and scenario back on them. He makes it quite clear that they don’t seem to know their scriptures, nor do they know the power of God. This is quite an indictment of these men of standing in the community. They would have been very proud of their education and yet, he’s telling them that they are “quite wrong.” He is showing them that the idea of the resurrection could be proved by way of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s relationship with God. God is a living God and by being in relationship with him, even the patriarchs have caught eternal life. Now, through Christ we are offered a new life that demonstrates the power of God. No smoke or mirrors — just a clear view of our Lord and eternal life through the power of his resurrection.


Sometimes we don’t want to let Jesus see what the real issue is in our lives. We cover things up by focusing on things that are not the real thing. It’s why people who call themselves Christians allow themselves to become distracted by arguments that protect them from having to take a hard look at their own spiritual lives.

Jesus isn’t fooled and he looks right beyond all the smoke and mirrors and gets down to our heart issues. Do we know the scriptures? Do we believe them? Why are we not acting like we do? When we live in a relationship with the resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, then we will know resurrection power. This power will allow us to live above the smoke and mirrors and deal with the real struggles that we are facing. God loves us and desperately wants to help us live in authentic and genuine ways. When we honestly and openly seek to know Christ we must stand transparently before him and allow him to do his work in us. This is when transformation occurs and his resurrection power is revealed in us.


Lord, please help me not to be tempted to hide behind the smoke and mirrors.  Amen.

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