Whose Wife Is She Anyway?
Then certain of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, came to Him; and they
asked Him, saying, Master, Moses wrote to us, if any mans brother die, having a wife, and be
dies without children, that bis brother should take bis wife, and raise up seed to his brother.
Therefore, there were seven brothers: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And
tie second took her to be bis wife, and he dies childless. And the fird took her; and in the same
way through all seven: and they left no children and dud. Last of all the woman died also.
Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of them shall she be? for seven had her for a wife.
And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, and are given in
marriage: but they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection
from the dead, neither not marry, nor are they given in marriage: neither can they die any more:
for they are equal to the angels; and they are the children of God, being the children of the
Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when be catted the Lord the
God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not a Godofth dead,
but of the living: for all live to Him.
Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, you have said well.
And after that they did not dare ask Him any more questions. - Luke 20:27-40
Some questions are asked because people want to know the answer, and some are asked
just to try to cause trouble. The Sadducees are attempting to cause trouble. They did not
believe in any kind of resurrection, and they were asking about the marital state of someone in
Moses had, by the direction of God, included a fraternal responsibility that is foreign to our
culture; yet, even in the days of Abraham, the Code of Humerambi had included a similar idea.
If a brother died and had not yet had any children, it was the responsibility of his next brother to
take his wife, have children, and raise them as his brother's children rather than his own. This
would, in almost all cases, insure a continuation of the line of inheritance through the eldest
In the case brought before Jesus by these Sadducees, seven brothers are involved in the
worst case scenario possible for this law. All seven brothers, in secession, are married to one
woman and die without having any children. Once the woman dies, they wonder whose wife
she will be in the resurrection.
Jesus begins, not by answering their question directly, but by teaching them about the nature
of the next world. The next world is not like this world. Here men and women marry, but there is
no marriage in that world to come. Those who are worthy of heaven, do not marry nor die; they
are like the angels of heaven, who are also referred to as the children of God.
Like all of those who deny the existence of the world that lies beyond this one, either in heaven
or in hell; they were too absorbed with the physical, and not knowledgeable about the
spiritual. They could not comprehend something different than what they were
experiencing now. They had no faith in the promise of God.
The reality of the resurrection should have been evident to them, even from the statement of
Moses at the burning bush, when God spoke to him in the wilderness to call him to deliver his
people out of the Egyptian bondage. He did not say that Goa was, or used to be, the God of
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; he said that God is the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.
It was not past, but present in tense. If there is no resurrection, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
no longer existed. If they no longer existed, God could not be their God in the present. For God
is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Therefore, there must be a resurrection based
upon the words of Moses at the bush.
The scribes present, those who copied the law daily and know intimately what it said,
complimented Jesus on his answer. He was right, and there was no question about it.
His answer to their question was so debilitating that they did not dare ask him any more