Tuesday, February 09, 2010

God of the Living - Markan Style

Mark 12:26-27
(26)  And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
(27)  He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong."

(26  περὶ δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν ὅτι ἐγείρονται οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ Μωϋσέως ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου πῶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς λέγων, Ἐγὼ ὁ θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ καὶ ὁ θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ καὶ ὁ θεὸς Ἰακώβ; 
(27)  οὐκ ἔστιν θεὸς νεκρῶν ἀλλὰ ζώντων· πολὺ πλανᾶσθε.

I have a friend who suggests that it is good to read through the Bible with certain themes in mind.  Thanks to some conversations I've had I am now attuned to some elements of the orthodox Christian faith that I have taken as understood, but have not necessarily thought through.  This post is something of a repeat of an earlier one, but that's OK because that sort of drives the point home.  We'll get here again in Luke too.

This passage ends a conversation Jesus had with the Sadducees.  They didn't believe in eternal life so they came up with what they considered to be an absurd scenario to prove the folly of the idea.  Jesus explains to them that they were thinking too materially in terms of marriage in eternity.  He then defends this idea of eternal life by quoting God's conversation with Moses.  Any good Jew would know this passage as well as he knew his own name.

What I find interesting is the use of the participle in verse 27.  Both are present active participles.  This indicates that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are in some sense alive at the moment that this was spoken.  In other words, there wasn't some future that they had to wait for.  They are alive with God right now.

This gives me great hope, but it also reminds me of the urgency of the gospel.  Where are you going to spend eternity?  Where will your friends and family spend it?

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