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The Savior Silences the Sadducees

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2021 4:00 am

The Savior Silences the Sadducees

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 30, 2021 4:00 am

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But the Sadducees, they don't want the Romans involved in this because they think that they lose their position for certain one of them, the high priest said to them, you know nothing at all. You take into account that is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation should not perish.

In other words, we have to have them put to death were all going to perish and unbelievers in the thinking is if you make unbelievers feel comfortable, accepted, loved by the church, you will win their respect and have a greater influence for Christ. But the question is can you really expect to make a genuine and powerful impact for the kingdom by compromising biblical truth to what degree did Jesus compromise when he encountered false teaching false teachers find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his series called how to talk to a heretic and now here's John Luke chapter 20 is our text Luke chapter 20 when look at this text and find fascinating. Revelation of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here in the setting, you wouldn't think would produce that result. Since it is an assault by enemies who want him dead.

But in the end, as always he comes out gloriously triumphant. Verse 27 other came to him.

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, and they questioned him, saying, teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies having a wife and he is childless, his brother should take the wife and raise up offspring to his brother.

Now there were seven brothers in the first took a wife, and died childless, and the second and the third took her into the same way all seven died leaving no children.

Finally, the woman died also in the resurrection. Therefore which ones wife will she be for all seven had her as wife Jesus said to them, sons of this age. Mary and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead. Neither marry nor are given in marriage for neither can they die anymore for the like angels and are sons of God being sons of the resurrection, but that the dead are raised, even Moses showed in the passage about the burning bush where he calls the Lord, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living for all live to him and some of the scribes answered and said teacher you have spoken well, for they did not have courage to question him any longer about anything. It's always fascinated me that humanity has in anticipation of life after death. It beats in the human heart in every culture and every era of time you go back to the Egyptian book of the dead and find their prominent belief in life after death in the moment most ancient of times of human history in the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops sealed over 5000 years ago was found by archaeologists. The solar boat which he had built the sale through the heavens in the afterlife. The ancient Greek religion.

A silver coin was often placed in the mouth of the corpse to pay his fair across the Mystic River of death into the land of resurrection life even American Indians often placed in the grave of a dead warrior. His bow and arrows, and sometimes his dead pony so we could have them in the happy hunting ground.

Norsemen were buried also with a dead horse and armor to carry on life in the world to come. In Greenland dead native children were buried with a dog to guide them through the cold wasteland to come. Humanity has always felt the pull of the afterlife. The Jews were no different. They had a strong belief in resurrection life you find it in many of their writings. For example, in second Maccabees 1 of the books contained in the Apocrypha, non-scriptural writings between the Old Testament and New Testament. And at 400 years. This particular book. The Maccabees 2nd Maccabees written one BC. It is estimated has some interesting insight into the idea of resurrection. It's a very crude and primitive one. This is it.

Maccabees tells of an elder whose name was Razzi's rather than fall into the hands of the hated Greeks he took a sword and disemboweled himself then standing on a steep rock. He reached in and says this apocryphal book and tore out his remaining bowels and threw them to the crowd and so he died, says the writing quote calling on him who is Lord of life and spirit to restore them to him again. So says second Maccabees 1446.

While this is apocryphal, not true, not historic and certainly nonscriptural. It is an indication of the thinking of the time, another first century A.D. Jewish writing Baroque has similar indication says this, the earth shall then assuredly restore the dead, it shall make no change in their form, but as it has received it, so shall it preserve them. And as it delivered them unto it, so also shall it raise them. This is also first century A.D. writing puts around of course the time of Christ, people would've been familiar with. It was the idea that there would be a resurrection, but that when you are raised from the dead, you would be raise the same way you died in the same form and in the same relationships and then Baroque went on to say, it shall come to pass, when they have several he recognized those whom they now know in other words, they all come back the same as they left. Everybody knows who they are, then their splendor shall be glorified in changes they shall be transformed into the splendor of the Angels and made equal to the stars and shall be changed in every form they desire from beauty and the loveliness and light into the splendor of glory so you come back exactly the way you laughed and then when you recognize everybody a metamorphosis starts and you begin to change into whatever it is that you want to become the Apocalypse of Israel the apocalypse of V-neck, etc. other Jewish writings convey the same resurrection hope with the similar kinds of confusion.

But nonetheless, as of all peoples and all times.

There is this pervasive sense that this life is not all there is the resurrection of the body is commonly spoken of in the Talmud which is the source of rabbinic teaching that basically articulates traditional accumulated Jewish theology, but in addition to all that the Jews, of course, had the Scripture and they knew the Scripture promised resurrection life. Psalm 16 verse nine, the psalmist, David writes, my heart is glad my glory rejoices. My flesh also will dwell securely.

You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or the grave. Neither will you allow your holy one to undergo decay you will make known to me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy in your right hand are pleasures forever. David expresses the hope that though he dies he will not remain in the grave he will find the path of life. The Lord will take them into his presence where he will live forever in pleasure that's biblical in Psalm 49 also and I'll just mention a couple of these to you, but in Psalm 49 in verse 15 psalmist again says God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave. He will receive me there again is that confidence, Job said, though he slay me, yet will I rejoice, yet will I trust in him. I will awake in his likeness, says the psalmist. They had that confidence laid out for them. According to Scripture, perhaps one other one to read to you specifically is at the the end of Daniel's prophecy. Chapter 12 in verse two.

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. There will be the resurrection of everyone, some to everlasting life, some to everlasting contempt, some to heaven, and some to hell. So they had Scripture as well as their traditional ideas about resurrection life.

It is commonly believed among the Jews throughout their history, and certainly the time of Jesus that there will be life after death, there will be life in the presence of God or out of the presence of God, and there will be a resurrection body a resurrection unto life or on to contempt and disgrace that is the background of the text before us. Now there were some dissenters to that view. Among the Jews.

They were known as Sadducees there introduce to you with simply a brief description of what they didn't believe in verse 27 other came to him. Some of the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They say there is no resurrection and spite of the common Jewish belief in resurrection inside of the Old Testament Scriptures, some of which I mentioned to you concerning resurrection.

There is one group of Jews who adamantly rejected that idea. They are the Sadducees and someone said that's why they're so sad juicy because there is no life the calm there is no hope for the future.

Acts 23 eight again characterizes them for the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, nor an angel nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

That is, spirits, Angels and resurrection, so they were at the opposite pole from the Pharisees who believed in resurrection angels and spirits. Now this group was not in them at an impressive Jewish sect by numbers.

It was very small, but it was impressive in power. It is the aristocrats who were the Sadducees, the wealthy, the influential, the chief priests mentioned at the end of chapter 19 verse 47 mentioned in the beginning of chapter 20 the first few verses chief priests were Sadducees, for the most part the high priests were Sadducees. Most of the Sanhedrin members. That is the 70 men who were the leaders of Israel, the Council that adjudicated for the nation.

Most of them were Sadducees so they sat in the seats of power and influence, if not large in number as we come to the text, then let's begin with the approach of Sadducees.

The approach of Sadducees in verse 27 now there came to him. Some of the Sadducees, they approach Jesus and as we know this is Wednesday.

Remember that Matthew in fact gives the parallel account to Luke and Matthew 22 Mark gives a parallel account in Mark 12 Matthew says they came on the same day the same day as the prior questioning by the Pharisees which puts it on Wednesday. Wednesday was a busy day for Jesus. The last week of his life is crucified on Friday.

On Wednesday he's teaching in the temple and he is in dialogue with the people and he is in conflict with these leaders. Pharisees have come after him.

The Herodian's have come after him and now it is the Sadducees turn and they are furious at Jesus. When you study the gospel accounts you don't see the Sadducees very often. You don't see them in Jesus ministry in Galilee. You don't see them as he's moving around in the land of Judea where you see them is where they always were, and that's at the temple. They come into play at the times that Jesus cleanses the temple, they ran the temple operation very lucrative, very powerful. They were wealthy and Jesus interrupted their very successful business. They hated him they were furious at him for what he had just done a matter of hours before this event in cleansing the temple throwing out the buyers and the sellers in the moneychangers and so he had assaulted them just as he had assaulted the theology of the Pharisees. He had assaulted the economics of the Sadducees. They had the power over the temple operation. Now we just give you little more background about the politically they were eager to cooperate with room since there was no resurrection. Since there was nothing to be worried about in the life to come, they put all their stock in this life. They went after all the power all the wealth all the position. All the control that they could get it in order to do that they had to cooperate with room because they were an occupied country under Roman power.

That was the Romans who gave them the right to do what they did.

They had a delegated authority from the Romans, and so they did everything they could to count out a room to make sure they curry the favor of Rome to keep their position. The people hated them. They hated them. That's why there weren't many of them it wasn't a popular thing to be the people hated them for their accommodation to Rome and they hated them for the corruption of the system to which the people were subjected every time they came to the temple. They pursued policies that pleased Rome, and therefore they pursued policies that angered the Jews and their corrupt temple operation was a continual irritation to the nation religiously.

They were very narrow and very strict. Some people thought that they were liberal. They were liberal and the sense of the didn't believe in resurrection and angels and spirits. And that's of you like liberal theologians take today but in applying justice in the land and in applying the law they were virtually cruel. It was part of how they kept their power to be cruel. Josephus tells us they were more savage than any other group of Jews, the Pharisees, he says, does Josephus were lenient in dealing with people compared to the Sadducees, they were brutal in enforcing their will upon the people as they interpreted the law of God in order to keep their power and position they were viewed then as fundamentalists and traditionalists who refused to accept the oral law and the scribal law, which by the way, the Pharisees fully accepted Pharisees accepted Scripture and the oral tradition and the scribal writings, but the Sadducees did not. They only accepted Scripture. They prided themselves on being committed to the pure faith, nothing more. They interpreted Mosaic law more literally than any others and were fast, steady us beyond all others in the matters of Levitical purity, they denied any future life of blessing or reward at all. They believed it says Josephus, that the soul and body perish together at death. There are no penalties in the not in the life to come.

There is no life to come.

There are no rewards.

They are known for that.

And that is the way they are defined by the New Testament.

Now the question comes how in the world to they call themselves literalists, fundamentalists, traditionalists, purists adhering to Scripture and not accept the Scriptures that I read to you about resurrection and the answer is they very lightly held to the primacy and the priority of the Mosaic law. That is, the five books of Moses, the Pentateuch, the five books. Everything was subordinated to the books of Moses since they were protectors of the pure faith.

They apparently affirmed the absolute priority of Moses and they said all other books in the Old Testament are merely commentaries on those five books. And since nowhere in those five books is resurrection mentioned. Therefore, resurrection is not a part of the pure faith and any other attempt to talk of resurrection is an aberration, even by another Bible writer. Now, on the other hand, the Pharisees were very very definitive about the resurrection and the Pharisees love to discuss the resurrection.

The Pharisees discussed things like when you are raised from the dead will you be naked or will you have close on what they couldn't comprehend that everybody in the resurrection would be naked so they came to the conclusion that you would have close on and then the question was where would you get the close and then the debate was about whether you get new clothes or whether you rise in the same clothes you used to wear. In fact, the very close with which you were very then the question they love to discuss was. If you have defects in this life physical defects or mental defects or whatever when you rise from the dead. Again, will you have the same defects, and many of the Pharisees felt that that you would rise in the same clothes you died in and you would rise at the same defects you had in this life. Pharisees love to discuss these kinds of things and occasionally discuss them with the Sadducees. The Sadducees thought this was ridiculous as it is thought it was bizarre but it was outrageous and love to scorn and mock such ridiculous things. They became mockers of the resurrection they were so defined by not believing in the resurrection that they had mastered the art of infuriating the Pharisees and the rest of the people with their arguments. They made a joke out of resurrection and one of the things that was bizarre and irrational about resurrection to them was what if somebody had married multiple times in this life. In the next life. If you gonna come back in the same close in the same form with the same defects and in the same relationships.

Who's going to be your husband and wife and apparently this question and never been sufficiently answered because when it comes their turn to throw a question at the master rabbi. This is their best shot. They are very good and very adept at defending their disbelief in the resurrection they been doing it for a long time they pull out their best shot. So they come to him. It's Wednesday and they come approaching him with a view to getting rid of him because he's a threat to them that plays out clearly in the words of John 11 John 1147, the chief priests would be the Sadducees and the Pharisees convened a council they can't agree on theology, but they can agree they wanted Jesus dead in this con flux of Pharisees and Sadducees in John 1147 they come together hold a council they said what are we doing this man is performing many signs. They never denied his miracles, even the raising of Lazarus from the dead. If we let them go on like this all men will believe in him and the Romans will come and take away both our place in our nation that was what they feared. They fear losing their position losing their place and if we don't do something about him. The Romans are going to come and take away our position that has to be the sentiment of the chief priests Pharisees. They want the Romans to come and arrest him and the people will immediately know is not the Messiah, because he can overthrow the enemy but the Sadducees, they don't want the Romans involved in this because they think that they'll lose their position for certain one of them, the high priest Caiaphas who is a Sadducees said to them, you know nothing at all. Do you take into account that is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation should not perish.

In other words, we have to have them put to death. He's got to die or were all going to perish, and so the Pharisees and the Sadducees come together even though the Pharisees wanted him dead for sure. The Sadducees might've not necessarily wanted him dead thinking Rome would invade Caiaphas steps up. He's the these, the high priestess is wait a minute he's gotta be dead or all going to lose everything there determined Jesus has to the Sadducees approach is to discredit him in front of the people by asking him a question that nobody's been able to answer this. Is there ultimate question. This is the one that stumped everybody.

I'm sure all the way along in the debates. This is there best shot.

Let's make them look stupid. Let's make them look foolish by this question on the resurrection. This is grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us today. John showed you how to talk to a heretic and that's an important but often overlooked skill is the title of John's current series how to talk to heretic you know John this passage that were looking at. You bring out so many details that are there that I wouldn't see just on a casual reading. And that's true.

I think every time you preach no matter what text you're dealing with. You bring out facts from the text in the context that most of us wouldn't notice on a quick reading so I want you to talk about the discovery process. What's it like in and talk about what you enjoy about it just to run that little bit. We will talk about this in relation to the translation work that we been doing on the guys in the faculty the message in verse in seminary have done a new translation of the entire Bible. That is pretty remarkable it's it's going to be out in his fullness in the fall, but one of the things that they talked about a lot and I was in the most conversations was the job of the translator is to translate exactly what the writer said translations, minor transitions tend to go toward the reader, they tend to want to accommodate the reader to make it easy to understand to catch up to vernacular changes, but if your translator, your job is not to satisfy the reader. Your job is to get the writers original words correct so you say will then woo hoo closes the gap between the writer and the modern reader answer. The preacher, the preacher, the teacher, that's what the teacher does and you have to start with an accurate text.

You don't tamper with that you don't change that you don't change the words you don't make it sound different. You don't change the thrust of the words just because you think modern readers will understand something you go exactly with what the original says you stick with that and the gap in any culture at any time is closed by the preacher so your you're saying to me what you do what I do is go into the original text of Scripture dig down in that Scripture July understand the depth of the meaning in the range of the meaning and how it relates to other portions of Scripture and pull all that back up and teach the one who is the listener. I just would mention this a good place to do the MacArthur study Bible because a lot of what I've done through the years to explain a passage to move it from the writer to the reader. I put in the 25,000 footnotes of the MacArthur study Bible. This is a library in one book in the Bible and its explanation right at the bottom of the page so you do well to get a copy of the MacArthur study Bible and certainly we have lots to choose from. You can check the website or give us a call. That's right. And when you're struggling to make sense of inverse order to better understand the context of a passage or if you just need help explaining Scripture to a friend or loved one. The MacArthur study Bible can help.

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