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20. NO BODILY RESURRECTION (Mark.12:18-27)

BACKGROUND: Sadducees were the religious elite of Jesus' time. Chief priests were usually chosen from among them. Sadducees believed in God and the five books of Moses (Genesis - Deuteronomy), but they didn't believe in a bodily resurrection, the spirit world, or an everlasting life. In fact, many liberal theologians of our time very much resemble the Sadducees of Jesus' time. (Look at verse 24).
  1. What did the Sadducees expect Jesus to answer to their question (vs.18-23)?
    • Why did the Sadducees find the belief in a bodily resurrection impossible and ridiculous?
    • What was the main concern for the Sadducees according to this text?
  2. Imagine the following situations:
    • You are a Sadducee and your friend has just heard that he/she has an incurable cancer. How do you comfort him/her?
    • You are a Sadducee and take part in a funeral where the widow is crying uncontrollably. What do you say to her?
  3. What concept of God does the person have who doesn't believe in a bodily resurrection?
    • What does the word "salvation" mean to a person who does not believe in everlasting heaven or hell?
    • What kind of Savior do you think the Sadducees were waiting for?
  4. Why did the Sadducees wander away from the right doctrine and saving faith (vs.24)?
    • Why have the liberal theologians of our time made the same mistake as the Sadducees did?
    • What can stop people being deceived by the heresy of the liberal theologians who deny bodily resurrection?
  5. What arguments did Jesus use in defending his faith in a resurrection (vs.26-27)?
    • The leader may read a passage about the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Hebr.11:16-17. If these three patriarchs didn't believe in a resurrection, what would they be forced to conclude about their lives?
    • What would your life be like if you didn't believe in the resurrection of the body?
  6. The New Testament tells about a couple of Pharisees who became believers in Jesus, but of no Sadducees. Why do you think this was so?
  7. What consolation does this passage contain for those of us who are afraid of death?
    • What do these words of Jesus mean to you personally: "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (vs.27)?

GLAD TIDINGS: If God is not the God of the dead but of the living, why did God himself have to die? It is because there wasn't any other way of saving us sinners from everlasting death to everlasting life.

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