WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 8, 2021
TOPIC: IGNORANCE OF THE SCRIPTURES AND OF THE POWER OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God’” (Matthew 22:29 New King James Version).
One of the distinctive differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees is that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead but the Sadducees didn’t (Matthew 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27; Acts 23:8).
Whereas the Pharisees believed in the traditions of the elders, the Sadducees opposed this. The Sadducees believed only in the laws contained in the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, which they believed did not state the doctrine of the resurrection.
Paul took advantage of this difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees on resurrection when he was arraigned before the Jewish Council in Jerusalem. Acts 23:6 says, “But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!” (New King James Version).
Unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducees are not mentioned many times in the New Testament, including interactions with them by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Nevertheless, there was one occasion of interface with them in Matthew 22, which made Jesus Christ point the error in their thinking. They had come to pose o Jesus a question, which bothered on the resurrection.
Matthew 22:23-28 says, “The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: ‘Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her” (New King James Version). This account is also recorded in Mark 12:18-27 and Luke 20:27-40.
Take note of Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God’” (Matthew 22:29 New King James Version). The Amplified Bible puts the verse this way: “But Jesus replied to them, ‘You are all wrong because you know neither the Scriptures [which teach the resurrection] nor the power of God [for He is able to raise the dead]’”
The answer Jesus gave pointed out the two problems of the Sadducees. One: their ignorance of the Scriptures. Two: their ignorance of the power of God. He went ahead to correct their mistake. He said in the resurrection there would be no marriage and everyone would be like angels of God in heaven.
Jesus continued, “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living’” (verses 31-32 New King James Version).
Because the Sadducees only believed in the Pentateuch as the Word of God and didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, Jesus quoted from one of the five books, the book of Exodus, to prove to them their ignorance of the Scriptures on the resurrection of the dead. Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6a, which says, “Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’” (New King James Version).
From this scripture, it is evident that God considered Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who were already dead at that time as being alive. That’s why Jesus added, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mathew 22:32b New King James Version).
Resurrection is real and should not be viewed from human limitations. Defending himself before King Agrippa, Paul asked, “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8 New King James Version). God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 5:30; Galatians 1:1) and those who are righteous and the sinners shall resurrect in the future – the saints unto life and the sinners unto damnation (John 5:28-29).
Paul also said in 1 Corinthians15:12-14, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (New King James Version).
Ignorance of the scriptures is bound to result in ignorance of the power of God because the Scriptures reveal to us the unlimited power of God. Because the Sadducees were ignorant of the Scriptures, they reduced resurrection to one of the human concerns on earth: marriage. In their attempt to ridicule resurrection, they didn’t talk about the relationship with God, eternity with God, which is the main goal of resurrection.
Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (New King James Version). God does not want His children to be ignorant of the Scriptures whether concerning resurrection or any other things that the Bible deals with. Also, He doesn’t want us to be ignorant of His power.
This is why God gave believers the Holy Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26). He also gave the church the ministry gifts, especially pastors and teachers, for the maturity of the believers. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:11-14 New King James Version).
Every child of God should avail Himself of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the ministry gifts. No Christian should wallow in ignorance concerning the Scriptures. They should study and allow themselves to be taught by the Holy Spirit and those the Holy Spirit has taught, the ministers of God.
God can bring the dead back to life and bring into existence what didn’t exist before (Romans 4:17). There is nothing too difficult for Him to do (Jeremiah 32:27). With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Don’t be ignorant of the Scriptures or the power of God. You need both.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I receive an understanding of the Scriptures and of Your power. Holy Spirit, teach me what I don’t know. Father, let the power that raised Jesus from the dead work in every department of my life in new dimensions. Give life to whatever the enemy has killed in my life and create what does not currently exist that is Your will for me.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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