Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Concept of Marriage in Heaven

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 20:27 - 20:47
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Luke 20:27 - 20:47

The most interesting passage to me in today's reading is the passage about marriage after the resurrection. The Sadducees tried to trap Jesus by asking him who would be married in Heaven if a woman was sequentially married to 7 brothers, each of whom had died before she married the next. Jesus gives a startling response that challenges many people's ideas of marriage in Heaven:
"Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those worth of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection." (20:34-36).
I did a little online research about this and could not find any articles that contradicted this statement with scripture. I found many references that talk about how Jesus is our "bridegroom" and how our marriage here on earth is but a shadow of Heaven, for we are the bride of Christ. The marriage relationship we foster here on earth will pale in comparison and we will not lack that intimate sharing of ourselves, but instead be utterly fulfilled by our relationship with Jesus Christ. It seems "till death do us part" is most certainly a true statement. I can't really fathom how it will all work, but I trust the promise of eternal happiness.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Taxes and Caesar - The Perfect Answer

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 20:01 - 20:26
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Luke 20:01 - 20:26
Jesus is tested by religious leaders, spies, and Sadducees. All were trying to trick him into saying something that they could report back. These people hated Jesus so much that they were constantly trying to trap him into a situation where he could be executed.

Jesus responded perfectly to these traps - questions that were perfectly sculpted so that any answer would be wrong. In verses 20:21 - 20:26, the people asked about paying taxes. If Jesus said to pay taxes, it would be upsetting because the people were unfairly taxed. On the other hand, if Jesus said not to pay taxes, they would report him immediately. Instead, Jesus asked them whose face and name were on the coin. When they replied "Caesar's", he told them to "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God" (20:25).

Jesus could not be accused of telling people not to pay taxes. As much as I don't like to pay taxes, taxes are a necessity for maintaining the land we live in. On the other hand, we know that everything is God's, no matter whose face is on it. Jesus's ability to appease all parties with his answer is truly amazing. Can you imagine that today, with the battling political parties? Only Jesus would be able to craft a statement that no one could find fault with - a statement that would speak differently and appease each person who heard it.