Matthew 22:23-33 The Hope Of The Resurrection.
The same day as the Pharisees asked their question about paying taxes to Caesar (vv. 15-22), the Sadducees, who said there was no resurrection, came with their question (v. 23). If they were sincere students of the scriptures, and actually believed that he was a teacher who taught scripture truth, they could have asked him outright if he believed in the resurrection and why. However, they probably heard him teach enough to know that he did believe in the resurrection, especially teaching of his own resurrection on the third day. Instead they think themselves clever, and seeking to simply trap Jesus, they pose to him what they imagined was a question that he would not be able to answer. They posed the example of a woman who was married serially to seven brothers before she died, because of the obligation to further the line of the first husband (vv. 24-27). It is likely that they saw any future for themselves as being that which carries on through one’s children. In any case, they ask Jesus whose wife she would be in a resurrection (v. 28).
Jesus tells them that they were mistaken on two counts – their lack of understanding of the scriptures which teach resurrection, and their unbelief in the power of God to do it (v. 29). The answer to their direct question was a simple one, in that with the resurrection there is no marriage (v. 30). However, with respect to the scriptures on the subject, he directs them to the scriptures they valued the most, the five books of Moses, and states the obvious point that though the patriarchs were dead that nevertheless Moses said that God is the God of them, and not that he was the God of them (vv. 31-32a). “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (v. 32b). A simple and yet direct answer to their question was one thing to marvel at, but so was his answer to the larger question of the resurrection. No doubt the multitudes also marveled, for they were likely as much interested in the issue or more so than the Sadducees, and Jesus taught them that there is this hope of eternal life, not just through their descendants, but for themselves forever.