Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Matthew 22:29
Sadducees only believed in the first five books of the Bible, the Books of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. And because Moses didn’t specifically say that there was a resurrection of the dead, they didn’t believe in it. But since Jesus believed in it, they came to Him with this question about this thing called the Levirate law, which was designed to care for the widow and help keep a man’s lineage alive.
These guys weren’t really interested in information, but Jesus gives them some anyway, by saying that marriage isn’t an issue in heaven. And He ends His response by quoting God the Father from one of those books of Moses that they believed in. In this case, it was the book of Exodus, where it says, ’I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’The importance of that lies in the fact that God says, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” not “I was their God.”
Jesus also said to them, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” If the Sadducees had known what the rest of the Old Testament said, they would have seen that the resurrection is, indeed, taught, and they would have seen the power of God to raise the dead. Their faulty theology rested on the fact that they didn’t know the Scriptures. This was pretty ironic in light of the fact that they had off the entire Old Testament available to them. And because they didn’t know the Scriptures, they didn’t know the power of God to raise the dead, and therefore they didn’t know the power of God to work in the lives of people like you and me.
Many Christian today are like Sadducees, they go to churches, even real good ones, they give their money, they bring their Bibles, and even pray. They’re “religious,” or “spiritual.” But in reality they’re ignorant about God. And in their ignorance, they embrace error. And that error, depending on what it is, can cost them heaven. They get their information from every place except the primary source – the Bible.
But what does Jesus say? “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” All of us want to know God, or know Him better, right? And all of us want to avoid error when it comes to the things of God, right? The key is to know the Scriptures. So how can we do that?
- Regularly Study the scriptures. Memorize it and meditate the scripture, think over it and chew on.
- Do the Bible. James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
The idea is that if we’re just reading in the Word of God and aren’t doing what the Bible says, we’re only fooling ourselves. When we’re reading the Scriptures and God points out something to us that we should apply in our lives, then we do it. And Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will help us do it. And then we run the danger of being something that God hates and the world is quick to point out – a hypocrite.
We’re not going to be perfect in “doing” the Scriptures, but the more we do it, the more we’ll see God changing us to be more like Jesus all the time.
- Watch God work. When we actually put the Scriptures into practice in our lives, we’ll see God do some amazing things – answering prayer, encouraging us when the times get tough, help in relationships, all sorts of stuff. The goal of all that is to help us be more like Jesus while we’re here on earth. And when we see God doing that in our lives, it gives us more incentive to get to know the Scriptures and God better, and the cycle continues.
- Help others to do the same thing. That’s part of what Jesus was talking about when He said in Matthew 28:18-20 to “make disciples.” We can all have a part in helping other people know the Scriptures and the power of God in their lives. And the great thing for us is that when we’re helping others, we gain in knowledge and wisdom as well.
- We can ask someone who’s farther along than us. We should not be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions is a good thing. They may not be able to answer all of our questions, but they’ll probably dig until they find an answer or invite us to explore that question together. Question to Ponder:
What am I doing to know the scripture and the power of God?