The Sadducees ran the religious practices of Jerusalem, and they did not believe in the resurrection. This bunch was crass and materialistic. They often had heated conflicts with each other. Josephus, the Jewish historian tells us that they were only interested in wealth. They lived a privileged life and they would only let those of privilege join their ranks. To marry a Sadducee you had to come from a well healed family. This is the Kennedy’s of the first century.
He also said that they were difficult, prickly people who often conflicted with one another. They lacked basic social graces.
They believed that there was a God but they didn’t think he had any bearing on life. They were religious but they didn’t really believe in God. A bunch of practicing agnostics.
The verse that comes to mind is 2 Timothy 3:5.
2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
I think this group is far more common, especially here in the south. God is like a token or charm. You don’t really think he has anything to do with this world, but you don’t want to completely count him out.
Elvis Presley fit this group. He used to wear an Egyptian ankh, a Star of David, and a crucifix around his neck. When people would say ” ‘Are you confused?’ he would say, ‘No, not at all. I just don’t want to miss Heaven on a technicality.'”
Elvis died while sitting on the toilet reading The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. Ironically, his search for the face of Jesus ended shortly after his heart stopped.
You might not have a medallion but God may be more of a good luck charm.
The Sadducees’ perspective shaped their question to Jesus. They didn’t believe in the resurrection so they tried to trap Jesus with a question about it. The question highlights the shallowness of their lives.
Matthew 22:24-28 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES, HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP AN OFFSPRING TO HIS BROTHER.’
25 “Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother;
26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.
27 “And last of all, the woman died.
28 “In the resurrection therefore whose wife of the seven shall she be? For they all had her.”
No doubt they had used this many times to debate the Pharisees with comical results.
Notice Jesus blunt reply.
29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.
The word for “mistaken” is “planaow.” It’s where we get “planet.” It means “to wander around.” I love that, He told them, “You guys don’t have a clue what you are talking about.”
You know what I find interesting. “Not knowing what you are talking about seldom keeps us from talking.” Sadducees were like armchair quarterbacks. They never read the Bible or prayed or thought much about God, but they were more than willing to offer their opinion on spiritual things.
Jesus said, in the resurrection there will be no marriage so it’s a mute point and then he used their question as an opportunity to deal with their unbelief.
31 “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,
32 ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
Here’s what he meant, “God isn’t distant and aloof like you guys think. He’s here and now. He’s the God of the living. And someday you will meet him face to face. On that day it won’t be enough to know OF him, you’d better KNOW him.