Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ye do err.—This is, it may be noted, the one occasion in the Gospel history in which our Lord comes into direct collision with the Sadducees. On the whole, while distinctly condemning and refuting their characteristic error, the tone in which He speaks is less stern than that in which He addresses the Pharisees. They were less characterised by hypocrisy, and that, as the pessima corruptio optimi, was that which called down His sternest reproof. The causes of their error were, He told them, two-fold: (1) an imperfect knowledge even of the Scriptures which they recognised; (2) imperfect conceptions of the divine attributes, and therefore an à priori limitation of the divine power. They could not conceive of any human fellowship in the life of the resurrection except such as reproduced the relations and conditions of this earthly life.Matthew 22:29-30. Jesus answered, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures — Which plainly assert a future state; nor the power of God — Who created spirit as well as matter, and can preserve it in existence when the body is dissolved, and can also raise the body from the dust and render it immortal; and who can make the whole man completely happy in the knowledge, love, and enjoyment of himself, without any of the pleasures or objects of this visible and temporal world. For in the resurrection they neither marry, &c. — Our Lord proceeds to observe further, that they entirely mistook the nature of the life to be enjoyed in a future state: that those who attained it being as the angels of God, incorruptible and immortal, marriage and the procreation of an offspring were no longer necessary to continue the species, or maintain the population of the spiritual world.
It was not taught that people would marry there. The "Scriptures," here, mean the books of the Old Testament. By appealing to them, Jesus showed that the doctrine of the future state was there, and that the Sadducees should have believed it as it was, and not have added the absurd doctrine to it that people must live there as they do here. The way in which the enemies of the truth often attempt to make a doctrine of the Bible ridiculous is by adding to it, and then calling it absurd. The reason why the Saviour produced a passage from the books of Moses Matthew 22:32 was that they had also appealed to his writings, Matthew 22:24. Other places of the Old Testament, in fact, asserted the doctrine more clearly Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19, but he wished to meet them on their own ground. None of those scriptures asserted that people would live there as they do here, and therefore their reasoning was false.
Nor the power of God - They probably denied, as many have done since, that God could gather the scattered dust of the dead and remould it into a body. On this ground they affirmed that the doctrine could not be true - opposing reason to revelation, and supposing that infinite power could not reorganize a body that it had at first organized, and raise a body from its own dust which it had at first raised from nothing.
For the exposition, see on Mr 12:13-34.See Poole on "Matthew 22:30".
do ye not therefore err, because? &c. And by Luke they are wholly omitted, as also what follows,
not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. These two things were the spring and source of their errors: they had not a true knowledge, and right understanding of the Scriptures; which if they had had, it must have appeared to them, from many places in the Old Testament, that the soul remains after death, and that the body will be raised from the dead: they owned the authority of the Scriptures, and allowed of all the writings of the Old Testament; for it seems to be a mistake of some learned men, who think that they only received the five books of Moses, and that therefore Christ takes his proof of his doctrine from thence; but though they had the greater esteem for the law, and would admit of nothing that was not clearly proved from that; yet they did not reject the other writings, as what might serve to confirm and illustrate what was taught in the law; but then, though they approved of the Scriptures and read them, yet they did not understand them, and so fell into those gross errors and sad mistakes; nor did they attend to the power of God, which, as it was able to make men out of the dust of the earth, was able to raise them again, when crumbled into dust; but this was looked upon by them, as a thing impossible, and so incredible; see Acts 26:8.Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 22:29. Jesus answers that, in founding upon Deuteronomy 25:5 the denial of the resurrection, which their question implies, they are mistaken, and that in a twofold respect: (1) they do not understand the Scriptures, i.e. they fail to see how that doctrine actually underlies many a scriptural utterance; and (2) they do not sufficiently realize the extent of the power of God, inasmuch as their conceptions of the resurrection are purely material, and because they cannot grasp the thought of a higher corporeality to be evolved from the material body by the divine power. And then comes an illustration of the latter point in Matthew 22:30, and of the former in Matthew 22:31.Matthew 22:29-33. Christ’s answer.—One at first wonders that He deigned to answer such triflers; but He was willing meekly to instruct even the perverse, and He never forgot that there might be receptive earnest people within hearing. The Sadducees drew from Him one of His great words.29. not knowing] i. e. “because ye do not know” (1) the Scriptures, which affirm the doctrine; nor (2) the power of God, which is able to effect the resurrection, and after the resurrection to create a new order of things in the new world.Verse 29. - Ye do err. Jesus does not condescend to answer directly to the contemptuous question proposed. He goes to the root of the matter, and shows the great error in which it originated. These disputants are treated with patience and calm argument, because they are not hypocrites like the Pharisees, but have the courage of their opinions, and do not seek to appear other than they are. They erred, said Christ, for two reasons: first, not knowing the Scriptures. Whatever might be the lax opinions which they held respecting the prophets, there was no dispute about the supreme authority of the Pentateuch, and these Scriptures (as Christ proceeded to prove) plainly implied the doctrine of the resurrection. Secondly, they ignored the power of God, to whom nothing is impossible, and who, in the resurrection, would perform a work very different from what they supposed - changing the natural into the spiritual, and transforming the characteristics of the life that now is into a different and higher sphere, yet preserving identity.
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