Day 250 – One Bride for Seven Brothers

Today’s reading: Luke 20:27-47

Today the Sadducees ask the questions about whose wife a woman would be in the next life if she had seven (7) husbands in this life.  From this story, we learn several things.

First, there is definitely a resurrection.

Second, there is no marriage in heaven. -Why?  Because the purpose of marriage is to (1)  sanctify the spouses – they help each other get to heaven, (2) Procreation, (3) to mirror the Trinity in our lives, and (4) to mirror the relationship on earth between Jesus and the Church.

Third, in Heaven, we will be LIKE angels.  We do not become angels but in our glorified states, we will have some of the attributes of angels.

Fourth, we learn something about scripture.

As with everything in scripture, nothing is there by accident, so why do the Sadducees ask about a woman with SEVEN husbands.  Why not five (5)?  Or eleven (11)?

The Sadducees are actually referencing a story from the book of Tobit, chapter 7.  Here it is:

So he communicated the proposal to Raguel. And Raguel said to Tobias, “Eat, drink, and be merry; for it is your right to take my child. But let me explain the true situation to you.  I have given my daughter to seven husbands, and when each came to her he died in the night. But for the present be merry.” And Tobias said, “I will eat nothing here until you make a binding agreement with me.”  So Raguel said, “Take her right now, in accordance with the law. You are her relative, and she is yours. The merciful God will guide you both for the best.”  Then he called his daughter Sarah, and taking her by the hand he gave her to Tobias to be his wife, saying, “Here she is; take her according to the law of Moses, and take her with you to your father.” And he blessed them.  Tobit 7:9-13

Now if you have Protestant version of the bible you might be flipping through it looking for the book of Tobit but you won’t find it.  That’s because in the 1500′s the Protestant Reformers took seven books out of the Bible.  That raises the question, what books should be in the bible?

Jesus himself gives us a clue.  This same story is related in the book of Matthew and there Jesus says something interesting:

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.  For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”  Matthew 22:29-30

So now we see the full context.  The Sadducees used the example of a bride of seven brothers because they knew Jesus would know the story because in Jesus’ day it was part of Scripture!  Jesus, in answering the Sadducees confirmed this.

It raises the provocative question if the Protestant reformers were wrong about this, what else were they wrong about?

Tomorrow: Luke 21

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