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Riddle Me This

Riddle Me This
Isaiah 50:1–51:23; Luke 20:1–40
Jesus’ enemies regularly attempted to make Him look foolish or to disprove His authority. The absurd questions they concocted to discredit Him are rather amusing. The Sadducees posed one of the most preposterous questions about the resurrection of the dead and its relevance to divorce (Luke 20:27–33): If a woman has been married seven times, whose wife will she be when the dead are resurrected?
This scene is especially humorous in light of rabbis’ habit of playing mind games to outsmart (or “outwise”) one another and the Sadducees’ belief that resurrection does not exist. Jesus’ opponents thought they had rigged the game: Any answer to their riddle would be incorrect. It was an attempt to trap Jesus into agreeing that the resurrection of the dead is a myth. Jesus, however, offered an answer that put them in their place (Luke 20:34–40). His response made the Sadducees look even more foolish in light of larger biblical theology about marriage and divorce.
More than 500 years before this conversation, Isaiah remarked, “Thus says Yahweh: ‘Where is this divorce document of your mother’s divorce, with which I dismissed her? or to whom of my creditors did I sell you? Look! you were sold because of your sin, and your mother was dismissed because of your transgressions’ ” (Isa 50:1). The Sadducees—along with the entire nation of Israel—had already been condemned for not honoring marriage in life.
So often we are concerned with logistics or details when our energy should be spent on discerning God’s will for our lives and whether we are in that will. Like the Sadducees, we tell ourselves witty lies to get around doing the will of God. We somehow believe that if we can reason our way forward, we can justify our inactions. But as Jesus taught the Sadducees, in any game of riddles or reason, faith will always win.
What are you wrongly justifying or “witting” yourself out of doing?

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