Have you heard the one about the pastor who asked his congregation to raise their right hands if they wanted to go to heaven? As he scanned the church, he noted all right hands raised but one. It belonged to a young boy. The pastor solemnly asked him, “Son, don’t you want to go to heaven?” “Yes, sir,” he responded. Well, then the pastor countered, “Why did you not raise your right hand?” The young boy answered, “Well, Pastor, I thought you were getting up a truckload tonight and there are a lot of things I want to do before going to heaven.”
Unlike this young boy who wanted to go to heaven, but not that particular night, the Sadducees did not believe in heaven. The Sadducees’ intent was to trap Jesus or to trick Him. The Sadducees“did not believe in life with God after [one] dies.” While they don’t believe, they do ask Jesus about life after death. They said, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, his brother should marry the widow if she has no children. There were seven brothers and a wife. Every brother who married her died before any children were born. When the widow dies, whose wife will she be since she has been married to all seven brothers?”
Instead of the Sadducees imagining what life will be like for a widow and her seven husbands in a place that they disavow, Jesus tells them that they should be more concerned with living their lives on earth the way God wants them to live. He also endeavors to correct their thinking about heaven by assuring them that God is making an amazing place for us to live forever.
Our families are very important to us and so it is only natural that we might question what relationships here on earth will be like when we find ourselves in heaven. Jesus reassures us that heaven is going to be amazing and that we will experience everlasting joy in the home God is making for us. Though we do not earn a place in heaven, God rewards us with a “wonderful place up there” when we have lived our lives on earth in ways that are pleasing to Him.
O God, we are grateful that Jesus knew how to respond to questions people raised to test or trick Him. We cannot imagine what heaven will be like, but we do trust You to make a wonderful place for us to live with You forever. In the meantime, until You are ready to call us home, help us to live as You would have us to live. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.