We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. … This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1b–2, 5

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Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. The second and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. Finally, the woman died too. In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”

Luke 20:27-33

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This week our theme is “looking ahead in faith,” but today provides a counterexample. The Sadducees illustrate the danger of looking ahead without faith. This group of religious leaders dominated temple leadership during Jesus’s ministry, and Luke records for us that they denied the hope of a resurrection. In other words, they went through the motions of religion but didn’t believe beyond this present life. Because of their doubt, they wind up asking Jesus a pretty silly question.

You’ve probably heard that there’s no such thing as a bad question, and for those who genuinely want to learn I think that’s true. But sometimes people ask questions for other reasons. Sometimes we use our questions to try to show off our own cleverness or trap others. We try to score points at another’s expense instead of honestly seeking answers. That’s what the Sadducees tried with a far-fetched hypothetical scenario designed to embarrass Jesus. Have you ever used your words to set a trap for someone else? Have you manipulated faith to do so?

Joshua Hays

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God, forgive me for the times that I have used my words to embarrass others. Give me the courage to ask honest questions so that I can know you better. Amen.

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Go now,

looking back on what the Lord has done for you,

looking ahead in faith to what the Lord has promised,

looking around you for those in need of hope and love.

Joshua Hays

Joshua Hays is a researcher at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and author of two books. He lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife Rebecca Poe Hays and their rescue dog Cooper.

Reflections on the Way: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Ken Medema

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