Hypothetically speaking....

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How many times has someone said to you, “I know it’s a stupid question but....” At times we are tempted to say, “Yes, it IS a stupid question, so why are you wasting my time asking it?”

Jesus must have been asked a lot of stupid questions and Matthew 22 records one of them. The Sadducees came calling, hoping to stump the Lord with a question on the resurrection. Since they didn’t believe in the resurrection, the question was an odd one for them to ask. I suppose they couldn’t come up with anything better.

The law said that if a man died without a son to carry on his name, his widow was to marry another brother and have a child who would then inherit the dead man’s name and his possessions. The question, a hypothetical one, was about a woman who married seven brothers, all of who died without producing the required heir. So, whose wife would the woman be in heaven?

Nobody’s wife, since there is no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30), was the Lord’s answer.

End of discussion.

Well, not really. Jesus knew that the question about the resurrection was at best, a distraction; at worst, a trap. But he didn’t push them away by rebuking them for asking a stupid question. Rather, He answered the question directly and then turned the conversation to something that was much more important than their hypothetical.

...He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matthew 22:33). In my mind this becomes the equivalent of saying: “It really doesn’t matter how God is going to handle all of these issues. That’s His business. The important thing is what YOU are going to do about your relationship with God right here and right now.”

In every conversation we have about spiritual things it becomes important for us to sift through the questions that aren’t relevant to get down to the questions that are important. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Most of the time, questions shouldn’t be ignored. Instead we bite our tongues and work back, as quickly and efficiently as possible, to the root issue.

When Peter asked the Lord what was going to happen to John (John 21:21), Jesus responded by saying: “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (21:22).

“What are YOU going to do about what God is saying to YOU?” becomes the central point of any discussion no matter what the topic started out to be.


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