In this story, we observe as a group of Sadducees, members of the aristocracy and self-appointed guardians of the temple, sought to pull Jesus into a "family fight." They were distinguished from the party of the Pharisees, believing only what was revealed in the written Torah, thus rejecting the oral Torah, or traditions held by the Pharisees. Sadducees told stories like this one to ridicule the belief in resurrection and life after death. How can the dead be raised, if they can't tell who is married to whom? Jesus settles the argument answering that the book of Exodus teaches the resurrection, describing Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as "alive to God." And as if to confirm the point, our Lord goes to the cross and is raised from the dead, in a surprising reversal of all those arguments that would seek to challenge God's power to make all things new.
Lord Jesus, make me an instrument of your peace this day. Where there is discord, use me to sow seeds of harmony. Amen.
Luke 20:27-38 (NRSV)
27 Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him
28 and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.
29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless;
30 then the second 31 and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless.
32 Finally the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her."
34 Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage;
35 but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
37 And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive."