There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”
34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”
When you ask the Millennials generation if they have Spiritual beliefs - you almost always hear an apologetic note to their voice if they say hurriedly, "Christian". If the young person responds 'No', and if asked, "Do you believe in God?" They emphatically say, usually, "Yes!"
How many Millennials feel worthy? Or set a goal in their lives seeking Worthy? Most young people in the climate of America today to not feel the "Go West Young Man" Spirit. Most feel life will hand them circumstance and they will do what feels comfortable. With embarrassment, when called to account.
We serve a Living God. Being the only grandchild on both my mother's side and my father's side - I was made to feel as a child there is a higher path and this is the one I'd want to take. My life felt far more worthy than your typical Salmon up-stream swim. Their interest and deliberate conversation assured me this was intentional. This was far more than career and education planning.
God had a few things to say about Worthy and First and Second Rate.
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
God asks us to remember we are not angels. In verse 36.
Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds
Maybe we should not kid ourselves.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
1 Corinthians 6:11
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
No one builds a life or a house with out a plan.
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
A plan requires faith. A mere Word from God.
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed."
Seek a blessing. Jacob wrestled God for blessings. Abraham spoke to God asking over and over again for blessings.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
And, with humor, so many people forget to ask Him for blessings - you already have a leg up.
And he took him by his right hand, lifting him up; and straight away his feet and the bones of his legs became strong.
Seek His Personality and Assurances
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord
We will laugh
Jesus did not fit the pattern of an expected holy man. Luke wrote, "By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently." (Luke 15:1)
"Jesus was always had snappy oneliners ready for the occasion, such as, 'Let the dead bury their dead,' and 'The poor you always have with you.' It's how you tell them! Try these prefaced with a heavy shrug and 'Oy Vay'." [Adrian Williams]
"Jesus has a particular eye for the ironical and paradoxical. He gave His disciples nicknames: Peter the Rock who was big on words, but a coward when it mattered; James and John, hotheads, were 'Sons of Thunder'. He told stories about judges who gave justice only after being pestered repeatedly, businessmen who amassed riches only to die the next day, and about priests too precious to help a man who had been beaten up. He talked about people who gave stones in the place of bread, and saw the speck in the eye of another but ignored the log in their own eye. He talked about the blind leading the blind. He called the holy men of his day whitewashed walls." [Rev Peter Weatherby]
"Many of His comments would have had the audience laughing incontrollably, while at the same time making a deep point. The pictures of 'blind Pharisees straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel' (Matt 23:24) is hilarious. Similarly it is reckoned that shpherds were the butt of Galilean society's jokes, and so the one about the shepherd leaving the 99 to search for just one, would have also raised a laugh." [George Newton]
"How often there was a twinkle in the eye of Jesus! His humor shines through his words. For instance, Jesus once pictured the religious legalists of his day. He said they were like a man who polished the outside of his drinking cup, but forgot to clean the inside. "You are like a person," said Jesus, "who picks a fly out of his drink and then swallows a camel" (Matthew 23:24). Jesus made his point by a humorous exaggeration. He used the same kind of humor when he said, "It is much harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle" (Mark 10:25). There must have been a twinkle in his eye when he talked about the fault-finder: "Why do you notice the little piece of sawdust that is in your brother's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood that is in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)
The humor of Jesus show us the quickness of his mind and the playfulness of his outlook. Jesus made this point by an absurd picture: "Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don't you put it up on a table or on the mantel?" (Mark 4:21).
The religion scholars were not pleased and growled, "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends" (Luke 15:2). Jesus' cousin, John, had followers who fasted all the time. Jesus and his followers had a reputation for eating and drinking. Again, Jesus reached for a humorous image to portray his contemporaries. He said about them: "They're like spoiled children complaining to their parents, 'We wanted to skip rope and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk but you were always too busy.' John the Baptist came fasting and you called him crazy. The Son of Man (Jesus' favorite term for himself) came feasting and you called him a lush" (Luke 7:31-34).
Jesus lets Levi throw him a huge banquet with all Levi’s tax-collector buddies invited (Lk 5 27-39). The happy party causes the Pharisees to criticize, posture and talk of fasting and prayer. Jesus responds with humor, sarcasm, a parable, and then a sigh that despite his presentation of truth they, like fools, will stick with their old ways.
Jesus’ humor could be sharp and earthy at times like when he said, and this is a Westby paraphrase, “the lawyers and Pharisees are full of...!” Check out the setting in Mark 7. Jesus is speaking openly of the fact of evacuation and that what come out of the body after eating is what is unclean. Unrepentant men are full of spiritually unclean stuff that comes out of them like bowel movements.
Serve Him with Mirth by Leslie B Flynn, 1960
A classic, now available as a free e-book
500 Clean Jokes and Humorous Stories: And How to Tell Them
R & L Wright, Barbour Publishers, Ohio
The Humor of Christ, by Elton Trueblood, 1964
The Humor of Jesus by Henri Cormier, 1977
The Humor of Jesus by Earl F Palmer, 2001
And God Created Laughter by Conrad Hyers, 1987
He is not God of the dead, but of the living
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.