Ye do err - Or, Ye are deceived - by your impure passions: not knowing the scriptures, which assert the resurrection: - nor the miraculous power of God (την δυναμιν του Θεου ) by which it is to be effected. In Avoda Sara, fol. 18, Sanhedrin, fol. 90, it is said: "These are they which shall have no part in the world to come: Those who say, the Lord did not come from heaven; and those who say, the resurrection cannot be proved out of the law."
Their deception appeared in their supposing, that if there were a resurrection, men and women were to marry and be given in marriage as in this life; which our Lord shows is not the case: for men and women there shall be like the angels of God, immortal, and free from all human passions, and from those propensities which were to continue with them only during this present state of existence. There shall be no death; and consequently no need of marriage to maintain the population of the spiritual world.
The same day came the Sadducees - For an account of the Sadducees, see the notes at Matthew 3:7.
No resurrection - The word “resurrection” usually means the raising up the “body” to life after it is dead, John 11:24; John 5:29; 1 Corinthians 15:22. But the Sadducees not only denied this, but also a future state, and the separate existence of the soul after death altogether, as well as the existence of angels and spirits, Acts 23:8. Both these doctrines have commonly stood or fallen together, and the answer of our Saviour respects both, though it more distinctly refers “to the separate existence of the soul, and to a future state of rewards and punishments,” than to the resurrection of the body.
Saying, Master, Moses said - Deuteronomy 25:5-6. This law was given by Moses in order to keep the families and tribes of the Israelites distinct, and to perpetuate them.
Raise up seed unto his brother - That is, the children shall be reckoned in the genealogy of the deceased brother; or, to all civil purposes, shall be considered as his.
There were with us seven brethren - It is probable that they stated a case as difficult as possible; and though no such case might have occurred, yet it was supposable, and in their view it presented a real difficulty.
The difficulty arose from the fact, that they supposed that, substantially, the same state of things must take place in the other world as here; that if there is such a world, husbands and wives must be there reunited; and they professed not to be able to see how one woman could be the wife of seven men.
Ye do err, not knowing - They had taken a wrong view of the doctrine of the resurrection.
It was not taught that people would marry there. The “Scriptures,” here, mean the books of the Old Testament. By appealing to them, Jesus showed that the doctrine of the future state was there, and that the Sadducees should have believed it as it was, and not have added the absurd doctrine to it that people must live there as they do here. The way in which the enemies of the truth often attempt to make a doctrine of the Bible ridiculous is by adding to it, and then calling it absurd. The reason why the Saviour produced a passage from the books of Moses Matthew 22:32 was that they had also appealed to his writings, Matthew 22:24. Other places of the Old Testament, in fact, asserted the doctrine more clearly Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19, but he wished to meet them on their own ground. None of those scriptures asserted that people would live there as they do here, and therefore their reasoning was false.
Nor the power of God - They probably denied, as many have done since, that God could gather the scattered dust of the dead and remould it into a body. On this ground they affirmed that the doctrine could not be true - opposing reason to revelation, and supposing that infinite power could not reorganize a body that it had at first organized, and raise a body from its own dust which it had at first raised from nothing.
Neither marry - This was a full answer to the objections of the Sadducees.
But are as the angels of God - That is, in the manner of their conversation; in regard to marriage and the mode of their existence.
Luke adds that they shall be “equal with the angels.” That is, they shall be elevated above the circumstances of mortality, and live in a manner and in a kind of conversation similar to that of the angels. It does not imply that they shall be equal in intellect, but only “in the circumstances of their existence,” as that is distinguished from the way in which mortals live. He also adds, “Neither do they die any more, but are the children of God; being the children of the resurrection,” or being accounted worthy to be raised up to life, and therefore “sons of God raised up to him.”
Matthew 22:31, Matthew 22:32
As touching - That is, in proof that the dead are raised.
The passage which he quotes is recorded in Exodus 3:6, Exodus 3:15, This was at the burning bush (Mark and Luke). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been dead for a long time when Moses spoke this - Abraham for 329 years, Isaac for 224 years, and Jacob for 198 years - yet God spake then as being still “their God.” They must, therefore, be still somewhere living, for God is not the God of the dead; that is, it is absurd to say that God rules over those who are “extinct or annihilated,” but he is the God only of those who have an existence. Luke adds, “all live unto him.” That is, all the righteous dead, all of whom he can be properly called their God, live unto his glory. This passage does not prove directly that the dead “body” would be raised, but only by consequence. It proves that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had an existence then, or that their souls were alive. This the Sadducees denied Acts 23:8, and this was the main point in dispute. If this was admitted - if there was a state of rewards and punishments - then it would easily follow that the bodies of the dead would be raised.
The danger that lies before those living in these last days, is the absence of pure religion, the absence of heart holiness. The converting power of God has not wrought in transforming their characters. They profess to believe sacred truths as did the Jewish nation; but in their failing to practice the truth, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and the power of God. The power and influence of God's law are around about, but not within the soul, renewing it in true holiness.... TDG 146.3Read in context »
29 (Matthew 9:9, 10; Mark 2:14, 15). Matthew Honored Christ Before Friends—In his grateful humility, Matthew desired to show his appreciation of the honor bestowed upon him, and, calling together those who had been his associates in business, in pleasure, and sin, he made a great feast for the Saviour. If Jesus would call him, who was so sinful and unworthy, He would surely accept his former companions who were, thought Matthew, far more deserving than himself. Matthew had a great longing that they should share the benefits of the mercies and grace of Christ. He desired them to know that Christ did not, as did the scribes and Pharisees, despise and hate the publicans and sinners. He wanted them to know Christ as the blessed Saviour. 5BC 1120.1
At the feast the Saviour occupied the most honored seat. Matthew was now the servant of Christ, and he would have his friends know in what light he regarded his Leader and Master. He would have them know that he felt highly honored in entertaining so royal a guest. 5BC 1120.2Read in context »
13, 14 (chs. 15:9; 22:29). Humble Men Are Salt of Earth—In His teachings, Christ likened His disciples to objects most familiar to them. He compared them to salt and to light. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” He said; “ye are the light of the world.” These words were spoken to a few poor, humble fishermen. Priests and rabbis were in that congregation of hearers, but these were not the ones addressed. With all their learning, with all their supposed instruction in the mysteries of the law, with all their claims of knowing God, they revealed that they knew Him not. To these leading men had been committed the oracles of God, but Christ declared them to be unsafe teachers. He said to them, Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men. “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Turning from these men to the humble fishermen, He said, “Ye are the salt of the earth” (The Review and Herald, August 22, 1899). 5BC 1085.1
No Self-originated Light—The light that shines from those who receive Jesus Christ is not self-originated. It is all from the Light and Life of the world. He kindles this light, even as He kindles the fire that all must use in doing His service. Christ is the light, the life, the holiness, the sanctification of all who believe, and His light is to be received and imparted in all good works. In many different ways His grace is also acting as the salt of the earth; whithersoever this salt finds its way, to homes or communities, it becomes a preserving power to save all that is good, and to destroy all that is evil (The Review and Herald, August 22, 1899). 5BC 1085.2
17-19. Least Among Human Agencies—[Matthew 5:17-19 quoted.] This is the judgment pronounced in the kingdom of heaven. Some have thought that the commandment breaker will be there, but will occupy the lowest place. This is a mistake. Sinners will never enter the abode of bliss. The commandment breaker, and all who unite with him in teaching that it makes no difference whether men break or observe the divine law, will by the universe of heaven be called least among the human agencies. For not only have they been disloyal themselves, but they have taught others to break the law of God. Christ pronounces judgment upon those who claim to have a knowledge of the law, but who, by precept and example, lead souls into confusion and darkness (The Review and Herald, November 15, 1898). 5BC 1085.3Read in context »
After my first vision of glory, I could not discern the brightest light. It was thought that my eyesight was gone, but when I again became accustomed to the things of this world I could see again. This is why I tell you never to boast, saying, “I am holy, I am sanctified,” for it is the surest evidence that you know not the Scripture or the power of God. Let God write it in His books if He will, but you should never utter it. 3SM 354.4Read in context »