Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
“You are quite wrong,” Jesus told them. Other versions say, “You are therefore greatly mistaken.”
In order to be wrong, something has to be right. As C.S. Lewis said, “…a man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” Jesus, in handling this doctrinal controversy thrown at Him by the Sadducees, called their views and conclusions “quite wrong.” There are wrong doctrines and wrong conclusions when it comes to Scripture. Jesus stood up and said, “You are wrong.”
There are many caveats that are brought out at a time like this which caution us to speak the truth in love and to be patient, tender and loving. Yes, that’s true, but I believe many of us at times have avoided saying what needed to be said because we felt as if it was wrong to say someone was wrong. We’ve been so conditioned in this politically correct and “tolerant” culture that many of us have cowered away from standing for the truth.
There is truth, and there is error. There is right and there is wrong. Jesus knew the difference and called it out.
He also spoke to these men as to why they were wrong.
First of all, they were wrong because they did not know God’s word. They may have thought they knew God’s word, but they were not using it correctly. According to Jesus, if they would have properly understood the “I Am” passage in Exodus, then they would have come to the right conclusion about the resurrection. The Bible doesn’t make every conclusion for us, but gives us all the information we need to come to the right conclusions. Jesus expects us to do the same thing that He expected out of the Sadducees. We, like they, can come to wrong conclusions because we don’t know the Scriptures as we ought.
Secondly, they were wrong because they did not know the power of God. Maybe they did not believe that God could raise someone from the dead. Maybe they did not believe that God’s power created a spiritual being that outlasts the body. It might be that they did not believe in God’s power to change the order of things, including marriage, in the resurrection. Whatever it was, they did not know the power of God. This is the same kind of reasoning people will use to say, “What about someone who dies on the way to be baptized?” Well, if God truly believed and commanded that a person is to be baptized, why would He not in His power preserve such a person so that they could obey His commands? Do we struggle in our Biblical conclusions because we don’t know God’s power?
So, get in the book, and stay in the book. Let’s find out what the truth is, and stand for it.