How to Answer a Tricky Question

2 Hunyo 2010 San Marcelino at San Pedro. Miyerkoles ng ika-9 na Linggo ng Taon
2 Tim 1, 1-12; Psalm 123; Mark 12, 18-27

There are ways to face a tricky question. Jesus has a way.

First, explain the how. In the Gospel, Jesus explains to the Sadducees who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead that in the after life, the laws of our mortal lives do not apply.

The Sadducees have a different belief system than the Pharisees. The Sadducees believed the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Old Testament) and looks down on all other teachings like that of the prophets which the Pharisees hold dear. So to the Sadducees, there is no evidence in the Pentateuch that there is a resurrection.

So Jesus said, as we also believe, that after this mortal life, our relationship with each other is as brothers and sisters, as children of God. Thus, our parents and grandparents and our ancestors will be our brothers and sisters. Likewise, those who have been married will not anymore be like husband and wife.

There is what we call a levirate marriage in Deuteronomy 25, 5-10. It says that if a group of brothers live together and one of them died without an heir or children, the next brother marries the wife of the brother who passed away, until a child is born. The child will be considered the offspring of the original husband. The law ensures that the family name continued and the property remains within the family. Note that this law is not just exclusive of Jewish law. Greek law also has a similar case. The purpose of this law is the same.

Second, explain the what. Jesus tackles the fact of the resurrection and proves it using their own ground. The Old Testament says that Yahweh is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3,6).

If God is the God of the living, then he is the God of those who are at present actually living. He cannot be the God of the dead.

So, if God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs who have passed away, then they just “passed on” from this life to the next, without vanishing from existence. They are indeed alive as God has said in the Pentateuch which the Sadducees held in high esteem.

In tackling tricky questions, we are to face them headlong. The what and the how, explained clearly, using the grounds of our opponent is a good rule to follow in our practical lives.

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