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Luke 20:27-38 New International Version

The Resurrection and Marriage

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[a] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”


Sometimes I wonder about people who remarry, or maybe just people who’ve had multiple relationships without getting married. When they die, who do they meet up with? Most likely their departed families, friends and probably pets. But what about their loves and spouses? What if there were many?

It sort of makes me laugh. But I guess we could say that each relationship is different, so maybe we meet up with former lovers and/or spouses at different times and places in the afterlife, who knows.

In today’s reading the Sadducees questioning Jesus want to pin him down. They’ve created a problem that they think Jesus will have a hard time answering. But it’s not so. Jesus rises above their small-mindedness by saying that in heaven we’re going to be like angels. And it really doesn’t matter because we’re all one big, happy family up there. Petty jealousies and competitive urges are all gone. Heaven isn’t called heaven for no reason. It’s called heaven because all the stuff that separates us is overcome. Or just not there. It wouldn’t be HEAVEN if it were otherwise.

And that’s one thing that makes the Christian view of heaven so different from what we find in many other religions. As St. Paul puts it in Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.