Jesus Christ Answers the Pharisees

Matthew 22:23–33 also Mark 12:18–27; Luke 20:27–40

Conflict with Sadducees

23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.


The Bible Knowledge Commentary:  Confrontation with the Sadducees (22:23–33) (Mark 12:18–27; Luke 20:27–40)

22:23–28. The Sadducees were the next religious group to try to discredit Jesus and His ministry. The Sadducees were the “religious liberals” of their day for they said there is no resurrection or angels or spirits (Acts 23:8). Purposely their question centered on the doctrine of resurrection and its implications in a particular case. They cited the story of a woman who married a man who later died. In accordance with the levirate law (Deut. 25:5–10), her husband’s brother took her as his wife (in order to perpetuate the dead brother’s line). But he too died shortly thereafter. This happened with seven brothers.

The Sadducees’ question therefore was, At the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her? The Sadducees implied that heaven was simply an extension of things on earth men most enjoy, such as marital relationships. But if this woman had seven husbands, how could her marital relationship be possible? The Sadducees were trying to make the resurrection appear ridiculous.

22:29–33. The Sadducees’ problems arose, Jesus said, because they did not know the Scriptures or the power of God. This was a strong denunciation of religious leaders, for of all people certainly they should have known God’s Word and His power. God’s Word taught the resurrection, and His power can bring people back to life. Jesus then corrected the Sadducees’ two false notions: (1) Heaven, He said, is not simply an extension of the pleasures people enjoy on earth. In fact in the eternal state marriage will be unnecessary. Once individuals have received glorified bodies no longer subject to death, the need for procreation, one of the basic purposes for marriage, will no longer exist. Believers in glorified bodies will be like the angels in that regard, for angels do not reproduce themselves. (He did not say people will become angels.) Jesus did not answer all the questions about the eternal state and the eternal relationship of those married in this life. But He did answer the immediate question raised by the Sadducees. (2) A more important issue raised by the Sadducees pertained to the resurrection. If they had read and understood the Old Testament Scriptures, they would have clearly seen there is a future life and that when a person dies he continues to exist. To the Sadducees the resurrection was ridiculous because they believed death ended man’s existence. But Jesus quoted a statement God had made directly to Moses at the burning bush: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Ex. 3:6). If the Sadducees were correct and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died and were no longer present anywhere, the words “I am” should have been “I was.” The use of the present tense, “I am,” implied that God is still the God of these patriarchs for they are alive with God and ultimately will share in the resurrection of the righteous. As a result of this encounter, the crowds … were astonished (exeplēssonto; cf. comments on Matt. 7:28; and cf. ethaumasan in 22:22) all the more at His teaching. Jesus thus successfully answered and defeated these religious experts.


The Greatest Commandment

Mark 12:28–34

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


The Bible Knowledge Commentary:  12:28. One of the Law teachers (cf. 1:22), had heard Jesus’ discussion with the Sadducees (12:18–27) and was impressed with His good answer to them. This suggested he was probably a Pharisee.

He came with no apparent hostile or hidden motive to appraise Jesus’ skill in answering a much-debated subject in scribal circles. Traditionally the scribes spoke of 613 individual commandments of the Mosaic Law—365 negative ones and 248 positive ones. While they believed all were binding, they assumed a distinction between weightier and lighter statutes and often attempted to sum up the whole Law in a single unifying command.

In light of this debate, this Law teacher asked Jesus, Which (poia, “what kind of”) commandment is the most important (prōtē, “first”) of them all?

12:29–31. Jesus’ reply went beyond the debated lighter/weightier classifications to a statement of the most important command and its inseparable companion, which together summarize the whole Law.

He began with the opening words of the Shema (from Heb., “Hear!” [šema‘], the first word of Deut. 6:4). This creed (Num. 15:37–41; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) was recited twice daily—morning and evening—by devout Jews. It asserted the basis of Jewish faith: The Lord (Heb., Yahweh), namely, our God, Israel’s covenant-keeping God, the Lord is One, that is, unique (cf. Mark 12:32).

The command, Love (lit., “you shall love”) the Lord your God (Deut. 6:5), calls for a volitional commitment to God that is personal, comprehensive, and wholehearted. This is emphasized by the repeated words with (ex, “out of,” denoting source), all (holēs, “the whole of”), your (sing.), and the various terms relating to the human personality—heart (control center; cf. Mark 7:19), soul (self-conscious life; cf.


Matthew 22:41–46  also Mark 12:35–37; Luke 20:41–44

The Son of David

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”

They said to Him, The Son of David.”

43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:

44      ‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at My right hand,

Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’?

45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.


The Bible Knowledge Commentary:  Matthew 22:41–46. Since the Pharisees refused to ask Jesus any further questions, He took the offensive and posed a question to them. His question sought to solicit their views concerning Messiah. He asked, What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He? Their answer came quickly for they knew the Messiah was to come from the line of David. Jesus’ reply (vv. 43–45) demonstrated that the Messiah had to be more than simply a human son of David, as many in that time were thinking. If the Messiah were simply an earthly son of David, why did David ascribe deity to Him? Jesus quoted from a messianic psalm (Ps. 110:1), in which David referred to the Messiah as my Lord. “Lord” translates the Hebrew ’ădōnāy, used only of God (e.g., Gen. 18:27; Job 28:28). If David called this Son “Lord,” He certainly must be more than a human son.

The complexities of this theological discussion were too much for the Pharisees who were not ready to acknowledge the deity of this Son of David. No one … dared answer His question or debate points of practice or theology with Jesus. All His opponents had been silenced, including the chief priests and elders (Matt. 21:23–27), the Pharisees and the Herodians together (22:15–22), the Sadducees (vv. 23–33), and the Pharisees (vv. 34–36).


So what have we learned?

  1. We have learned that we are mistaken by not knowing the power of God.
  2. In the resurrection people neither marry nor given in marriage.
  3. But are like angels in heaven. (Remember we will have spiritual bodies not human bodies)
  4. “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”
  5. The greatest commandment of all is ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
  6. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
  7. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
  8. David is not Jesus’ father. (to demonstrate, that He the Messiah was to be David’s Lord, not merely David’s Descendant) If David called this Son “Lord,” He certainly must be more than a human son. Jesus is simply a descendant in the line of David. But He is also David’s Lord and the Son of God.
  9. All His opponents had been silenced, including the chief priests and elders (Matt. 21:23–27), the Pharisees and the Herodians together (22:15–22), the Sadducees (vv. 23–33), and the Pharisees (vv. 34–36).


Suggestion:  There is SO much more to learn about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Christianity and the good news of the gospel. . Read it slowly over and over to make sure you understand it properly.

God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?

Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time. And always remember to ask the Father for His help and guidance in all things.


 Prayer:   Father, blessed is your Holy name. We praise you for your Son and the Holy Spirit. Human words cannot describe how grateful we are for Your Son and our risen Christ. We praise You for the opportunity to be able to choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior and to be elect children of Yours. We praise you for the laws You have set down to teach us and keep our life in harmony and safe. Please bless those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding. I pray these brothers and sisters have or will come to realize that Your existence is a treasure of grace and love that You have for all Your elect children.

May God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights for eternity. Let it be Your will Lord not mine. Please come Lord Jesus.

I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of The Holy Spirit,



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