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Posts Tagged ‘marriage in heaven’

Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead.  They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.  Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children.  So the second brother married the widow, but he also died.  Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children.  Finally, the woman also died.  So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!” Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth.  But in the age to come, those worthy 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.

“But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’  So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

“Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there.  And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.  Luke 20:27-40

Both yesterday’s and today’s scripture passages had some really good notes to accompany them, but I chose not to type them in yesterday and today, I’m not sure whether I will or won’t…we’ll see. 

Generally, when reading this, most people take away from it, ‘use scripture to answer the tough questions.’  This is true for God’s word never changes and it is the foundation and basis for life.  And because ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,’ (Hebrews 13:8) then His Word is also ‘same yesterday, today and forever.’  With that understanding then, as Jesus used scripture to refute the Sadducees, so we can use scripture to do likewise.  Jesus rightly answered the underlying question/dilemma that the Sadducees put before Him.  Jesus discerned their true meaning and motive.

Well, that isn’t what I want to talk about today.  Jesus made this comment when He initially answered the Sadducees, Marriage is for people here on earth.  But in the age to come, those worthy 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. 

What does that mean?  Here He outright says, we will be like the angels, children of God.  This means that the dynamic and intricacy of our life relationships that we hold here on earth will not be the same in eternity.  Think about it, how often does scripture demonstrate our relationship with God as if we are the bride and He is the groom?  So, our marriages here, though we will recognize our partners, will not be viewed in the same light there.  We will have the ultimate singleness of heart and yearn only for our God.  Our sibling relationships will not be the same either because we are joint-heirs with Jesus.  Our parental relationships will also take on a different perspective because God will be our Father. 

“Marriage is for people here on earth.”  I suppose that I take some small comfort in this sentence.  When I think about the brevity of life, I realize that all the hardships that I face in my marriage are like the blink of an eye and then eternity will set in and I will truly be married to the “man of my dreams.”  Jesus will be all I ever need, as He should be now, I just get in the way of that. 

I don’t often dwell on thoughts of heaven.  I want to be wowed beyond consciousness.  I know that God has made heaven a place beyond my comprehension.  I know that He has done things in heaven that I can’t even begin to imagine.  I know that all of my assumptions, my understanding, my ideas, my convictions are going to appear so infinitesimal and smaller than the smallest known particle compared to what God has in store for us.  This scripture passage assures me of that.  All my preconceived notions of what heaven will be like, are like fine dust because I really can’t even begin to understand the vast greatness of God.  Jesus said that our relationships won’t be the same here as there.  If I can’t comprehend that, even though He outright said it, then how can I even begin to comprehend any other changes that will be? 

John describes his vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelations.  (The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.  Revelation 21:21)  Even in his description – which is much more than this one sentence – I can’t even comprehend…how can pure gold be as clear as glass?  And all of the newer versions either say “clear as glass,” “clear as crystal,” or “as transparent glass.”  So, if I can’t even comprehend what the scriptures outright tell me, how can I even begin to imagine what it will be like.  I just simply can’t.  I am overwhelmed just thinking about thinking about it.  Instead, I want to be like the little child enveloped in the ‘magic of the moment’ when I first encounter Disney World … or something like that.  That precious ‘awe struck look’ that only a small child can seem to master at every new leaf that is turned.  That is what I want to feel when I reach heaven, and that is what I will feel, because I just know that I can’t even in my wildest dreams begin to know or understand what Jesus has in store for us there.

And it all comes back to today’s scripture and other scriptures like it, Jesus has said that it won’t be like what we know and are accustomed to.  When you get right down to it, we only know a life and a world that has been marred with sin.  We don’t really know what perfection looks like.  Our marriages, though a symbol of one aspect of our relationship with Jesus is nothing like what our relationship with Jesus will be.  We can only glimpse what it should be and yet we will never fully comprehend until that day that Jesus takes us back with Him to the marriage supper.  Paul said it well in 1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

I take away from scriptures like these that I just simply don’t know.  For all that I think I know, all that I think that I understand, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes down to what will be when Jesus comes again and all will stand in the light of perfection.  My marriage isn’t perfect.  My life isn’t perfect.  The choices that I’ve made are far from perfect.  I don’t understand why I suffer from such hardships.  I don’t understand why I tend to be a little more emotional than others.  But, I know that even though I try to live my life by the convictions that I hold, they too aren’t perfect.  I make mistakes, I fall down and get back up and try again.  In heaven, with Jesus, it won’t always be this way.  I don’t understand the mind of God, but on some level at least I know that by living this imperfect life and making these less than perfect and right choices, I am learning whatever the Lord is teaching me.  I believe it has to do with the scripture from Ezekiel 11, God is giving me  singleness of heart.  I am learning that nothing in this world or in this life is more important than Him and no one means more to me than Him. 

Jesus said, “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”  Matthew 10:37-39

Scripture is full of apparent contradictions to our understanding of life.  But, that is how God has chosen to reveal His word and His will to us.  We can’t understand it fully, but we can decide to follow Him regardless.  He knows our heart, even if our brains try to ‘mastermind’ our lives.  (No pun intended.) 

Now I think I’m talking in circles and about things that I don’t fully comprehend.  I’ll type in the notes for today’s scripture so that maybe you can glean something after all.

Note on verses 27-38

The Sadducees, a group of conservative religious leaders, honored only the Pentateuch – Genesis through Deuteronomy – as Scripture.  They also did not believe in a resurrection of the dead because they could find no mention of it in those books.  The Sadducees decided to try their hand at tricking Jesus, so they brought him a question that had always stumped the Pharisees.  After addressing their question about marriage, Jesus answered their real question about the resurrection.  Basing his answer on the writings of Moses – an authority they respected – he upheld belief in the resurrection.

Note on verses 34, 35

Jesus’ statement does not mean that people will not recognize their partners in heaven.  It simply means that we must not think of heaven as an extension of life as we now know it.  Our relationships in this life are limited by time, death, and sin.  We don’t know everything about our resurrection life, but Jesus affirms that relationships will be different from what we are used to here and now.

Note on verses 37, 38

The Sadducees came to Jesus with a trick question.  Not believing in the resurrection, they wanted Jesus to say something they could refute.  Even so, Jesus did not ignore or belittle their question.  He answered it, and then he went beyond it to the real issue.  People may ask you tough religious questions, such as “How can a loving God allow people to starve?”  “If God knows what I’m going to do, do I have any free choice?”  If they do, follow Jesus’ example.  First, answer them to the best of your ability; then look for the real issue:  hurt over a personal tragedy, for example, or difficulty in making a decision.  Often the spoken question is only a test, not of your ability to answer hard questions, but of your willingness to listen and care.

Enough of my ramblings…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  Psalm 139:23-24

May God provide the increase.

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