The party of the Sadducees mentioned in today’s gospel were a Jewish group who rejected any doctrine not clearly taught in the Torah, that is, the first five books of the Old Testament. Thus, unlike the Pharisees, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection at the end of time. They take the opportunity today to argue with Jesus about the question by trying a little “reductio ad absurdum” . The challenge they pose has to do with the institution known as levirate marriage, in
which a brother of a deceased man was required to marry his widow if they had no children. What if that same woman ended up marrying seven brothers? What a complete mess in the age to come! This is taken as an argument against resurrection. Jesus breezily dismisses it as misunderstanding the nature of the age to come. Since people will no longer die, there will be no need for marriage and children as we know them in the present age. Using the Book of Exodus, which the Sadducees would have accepted, he points out that God identifying Himself to Moses would hardly call himself
the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob centuries after they had left this earth if they were not in fact still alive to Him. In saying this, Jesus assures us that the same future will be true for each of us. When we die, we ourselves will live with Him forever. What a hope is ours!