This is post #11 of a series entitled RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP: Five Days that Define Our Call in Christ. We hope you’ll enjoy this series of 27 podcasts and blogs that focuses a bit deeper on the first five days of what we now call Holy Week. Using the Gospel text found in Matthew 21 through 25, we explore the major differences between organized religion and true relationship with Christ. Practical sessions that give us Jesus’ view of spirituality as compared to the religiousness found in so many people today. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click here to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Today’s Lectio Divina: That same day, Sadducees approached Him. This is the party that denies any possibility of resurrection. They asked, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother is obligated to marry his widow and get her with child. Here’s a case where there were seven brothers. The first brother married and died, leaving no child, and his wife passed to his brother. The second brother also left her childless, then the third—and on and on, all seven. Eventually the wife died. Now here’s our question: At the resurrection, whose wife is she?” “She was a wife to each of them.” Jesus answered, “You’re off base on two counts: You don’t know your Bibles, and you don’t know how God works. At the resurrection we’re beyond marriage. As with the angels, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. And regarding your speculation on whether the dead are raised or not, don’t you read your Bibles? The grammar is clear: God says, ‘I am—not was—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ The living God defines Himself not as the God of dead men, but of the living.” Hearing this exchange the crowd was much impressed. Matthew 22: 23-33 (MsgB)
Anyone old enough here to remember the Rubik’s Cube?
This frustrating little toy was invented back in 1974 by a Hungarian professor of architecture, Emo Rubik. Licensed to the Ideal Toy Company in 1980, this 3-D combination puzzle won the Toy of the Year award, driving most of the world crazy trying to come up with the right combination of clicks so each of the six colors on the little 54 squares were matched up on each of the cube’s six sides.
As I see it, the religious people of Jesus’ day were very good at making God and everything He ever said or did into their own private Rubik’s Cube. Take today’s text in Matthew, for example. The Sadducees come to Jesus with a Rubik’s Cube on the subject of marriage/remarriage/and how it all works in heaven.
“Suppose, Jesus, this married man dies, leaving his wife without a husband. Just suppose, Jesus, this man’s brother takes his late brother’s wife for his own, then dies, leaving her husband-less once again. Now suppose, Jesus, this scenario happens seven times? Tell us, Jesus, where does this poor widow go in heaven?”
Quite honestly, I love Jesus’ response to this messed-up Rubik’s Cube the Sadducees tried to pawn off on the Master.
“Guys…I can tell by your question that 1) you don’t know God’s Word…and oh, by the way, 2) you don’t have a clue about God either!”
I wonder how many times we religious people do this exact same thing to Jesus when we set up our own Rubik’s Cube about God? Designing countless rules and regulations about how God does this or that, or how God works or doesn’t work when it comes to this or that?
I wonder if Jesus occasionally rolls His eyes heavenward, smiles, and whispers to Himself, “Oy Vey, there goes Boller again making God and His creation into some complicated Rubik’s Cube, making something that’s very straight forward and simple into something so complicated, not even a rocket scientist could figure it out?”
Maybe, just maybe, you and I need to take our cue here from this story in Matthew’s Gospel?
Maybe, just maybe, we’d do well to stop with all of our ”what-if” questions and just sit down, shut up, and allow the Master to do all the talking instead of us?
Could it be that if we allowed Jesus to take center-stage, giving Him the microphone, so many of our over-complicated Rubik’s Cubes of life might be solved as we allow Him to lead the way instead of us goofballs, who believe we know it all, yet in truth, don’t have a clue?
I’m just sayin’.
My Prayer: Jesus, I see the way the Sadducees related to You and it’s so obvious that their sincerity was a joke. They were not there for honest answers but simply were on their own mission to show how superior they thought they were, compared to You. Father God, as I see it, this is the epitome of religious pride, and it’s my guess that the longer I’m in church, the better the chances I will allow this religious pride to enter into my life. Holy Spirit, guard me from making God’s simple solutions into complicated Rubik’s Cubes. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
My Questions to Ponder: Where have I taken the simple child-like faith of following Jesus and made it into an over-complicated, mind-boggling Rubik’s Cube? Like the Sadducees of old, am I guilty of taking simple questions of faith and extrapolating them into complicated, confusing puzzles, leaving me more frustrated than when I first began? If so, what might it look like to honestly quiet myself before Jesus, allowing Him to lead me through what appears to be this maze we call life?
So, what are you hearing from Jesus as we take this journey into the first 5 Days of Holy Week?
Religion or Relationship: Five Days that Define Our Call in Christ.
A 27-session Lenten blog series from Matthew’s Holy Week Gospel.
Throughout the Lenten season (Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday), you and I will take a deeper look at Matthew 21-25. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our blog series home page for ease of use.
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