The Pharisees and the teachers of the law of Jesus’ day are notorious for their hypocrisy and misplaced religious zeal. But we shouldn’t paint them all with the same brush. In chapter twelve of Mark’s gospel we meet one of the teachers of the law who came to Jesus not to trap him in his words, but to seek out his wisdom.Continue reading “The Most Important”
When people express their distaste or even disdain for religion what they often are reacting against is the kind of religion described by Jesus in Mark 12. Continue reading “Palpable Religion”
The Sadducees are sad you see because they deny the resurrection. So goes the little ditty. However, on at least one occasion they pretended to believe in the resurrection for the sake of argument. We read in Mark 12 how they came to Jesus with a clever conundrum that would expose the ridiculousness of belief in the resurrection. First, they pointed back to ancient Mosaic law that stated that if a man died without offspring, his brother was obliged to marry his widow. Then they create an improbable, but not impossible, scenario where seven brothers all marry the same woman in keeping with Moses’ law. When everybody resurrects at the end of the age, who will be the brother that is married to the woman?