In an effort to discredit Jesus in front of his followers, a group of religious teachers called the Sadducees asked him a question which seemed to have no clear answer: “If a woman gets married and her husband dies, and then she marries again, and that new husband dies, and this continues seven different times, who will be her husband in Heaven?” (Luke 20:27-40). Everyone stared at Jesus. He looked at the crowd and answered, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage” (vv. 34, 35). This insightful response caused the Sadducees, who did not believe in life after death, to back off and leave Jesus and his followers alone.
Jesus’ answer is often heard as a promise, even though it was not intended to be. Why? People read that passage and think, In Heaven, I won’t have to endure the painful effects of my parents’ divorce any longer. For them, their parents’ divorce ranks as the most painful experience in their life, and the possibility that there might be another world where relationships do not disintegrate before their eyes seems too good to be true, but it isn’t.
In Heaven, kids never have to hear the words, “Your mother and I are getting a divorce.” Second-graders are never forced to choose sides in court. Ten-year-olds don’t spend every other weekend at their dad’s house or have to meet their mom’s new “friends.” In Heaven, people neither marry nor are given in marriage, and for many people that is Heaven enough.
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