Children of the Resurrection
You would think that all the Jews of Jesus’ time would have believed in the resurrection, but there was a certain group of Jews, called the Sadducees, who did not. They thought it was a ridiculous idea, and they presented Jesus with a question that was designed to show how absurd the idea of the resurrection was.
The answer that Jesus gave to this question gives us some insights into what life in heaven will be like. He tells us some things here that we perhaps would not otherwise know about the afterlife for believers.
Before we look at the text, we should explain who the Sadducees were. It says here that they “deny that there is any resurrection.” That’s why they were sad, you see.
The Sadducees believed only the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Bible, and those books don’t say much about resurrection. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection because they believed in the other books of the Hebrew Bible.
The Sadducees also denied the immortality of the soul; they believed that the person died completely when his body died. Because they did not believe in eternal life, they emphasized enjoying life here and now. The Sadducees teamed up with the Pharisees in their mutual opposition of Jesus. Jesus warned his followers to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees” (Mt 16:6). It seems as if the Sadducees as a group died out after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Let’s take a look at this question and answer and see what it tells us about the resurrection and the eternal state. Remember that this occurred on Tuesday of the Passion Week. Jesus is still in the temple, surrounded by people, including many of the Jewish leaders. The Pharisees had already tried to discredit him publicly, and now the Sadducees give it a try.