Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing


We all possess the tendency to “miss the forest for the trees.” There are days when we can completely miss the point. That’s exactly what the religious leaders of Jesus’ day did. Their focus was on keeping the law rather than placing personal trust in the One who came to fulfill the law.

  • What does it mean for you to have a personal, ongoing, life-giving relationship with the God of all creation?


18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22 And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


NOTE: In verses 18-23, the religious leaders referred to the technicalities of what was known as the “Levirate Law,” designed to protect widows from total destitution (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). 

  1. Historically, the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. What, then, is odd about their question in verse 23? What does that tell you about their intentions in questioning Jesus?
  2. In verse 26, Jesus addressed the issue of resurrection by quoting Exodus 3:6—“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Given that declaration, what does the declaration of verse 27 mean?
  3. How did a lack of knowledge about the Scriptures and the power of God lead the Sadducees to error?
  4. In what area(s) of your life do you tend to miss the point by replacing relationship (inward transformation of the Spirit) with religion (outward conformity to the law)?


Instead of internal transformation, the Sadducees were obsessed with outward conformity. Religion replaced relationship. As a result, the technical aspects of doing what was right kept the religious leaders from keeping the main thing the main thing. Marriage isn’t the point of eternity—relationship with God is. In Jesus’ view, there is something in eternity for the Christ follower that is far more significant than fixation on obscure rules and regulations. 

  • Spend some time celebrating that Jesus has been raised from the dead, which means that your faith is NOT futile (1 Corinthians 15:17).
  • Ask God to make Mark 12:24 real in your life—that you would have a passion to know God’s Word and experience his power to apply truth.
  • Ask God to empower you so that you are changed from the inside out by his Spirit.