Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ask A Stupid Question - Get An Intelligent Answer...Sometimes

One of my favorite comedians is Bill Engvol.  My favorite routine he does is called…”Here’s Your Sign….My favorite one of those is this….and it just goes to show you that stupid questions happen everywhere.  "I learned to drive an 18 wheeler in my days of adventure. Wouldn't ya know I misjudged the height of a bridge. The truck got stuck and I couldn't get it out no matter how I tried. I radioed in for help and eventually a local cop shows up to take the report. He went through his basic questioning. No problem. I thought for sure he was clear of needing a sign... until he says " your truck stuck?" I couldn't help myself! I looked at him, looked back at the rig, then back to him and said, "No I'm delivering a bridge ...Here's your sign!""
I’m sure you’ve all been asked a stupid question before…right?  If you are like me, you’ve probably asked one or two yourself.

These are some examples of questions and answers I found online that were taken from real trials:

Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

A: Yes.

Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

A: I forget.

Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?

Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

A: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?

Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?

Q: She had three children, right?

A: Yes.

Q: How many were boys?

A: None.

Q: Were there any girls?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated?

A: By death.

Q: And by whose death was it terminated?
You have to admit that these are some dandies.  In today’s Gospel lesson, we get an interesting question from the Sadducees. 
In Luke 20:27-38 we find a story about the Sadducees, Jesus, and some stupid questions that got a really intelligent answer. The Sadducees were a Jewish religious sect at the time of Jesus.  They had the majority of the seats on the Sanhedrin or Jewish ruling council.  They were more secular in their thinking and practice.  They were prone towards consorting with the enemy, which of course were the Romans.  But what is most important to this story is that they denied that the Bible taught the bodily resurrection from the dead and the existence of angels or demons.  They believed that only the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah or the Pentateuch, were applicable to a person’s life.  They believed that the resurrection was not only fanciful but also irrelevant.  They only wanted to know about what was important for this life.  They didn’t really care what happened after death.  Sounds kind of like our culture today doesn’t it?  Who cares what happens after I die?  "I got a lot of partying to do before that happens!  My life is super busy. I got a lot going on. I don’t have time for that God stuff right now. I’ll get right with God down the road."  This is how many people’s logic goes.  You know these are ridiculous situations of course. In order to accomplish each of those things, it takes dedication and preparation.  Well, let me tell you all this morning…..So does eternal life.  I know personally that my neighbor doesn’t go to church – it sounds like she doesn’t even believe in Jesus…but what if I had that attitude that someone else will tell her about Jesus.  What if I sat back and believed that if the person next door was in need somebody else would help her.  The Sadducees come to Jesus in order to try to trick him – they intended to ask Him a stupid question in order to demonstrate just how ludicrous the idea of the resurrection really was in their minds.  What they were suggesting was the fulfillment of the Levirate law in Deuteronomy 25:5 that commanded the brother of a deceased man to marry the widow, his sister-in-law, and have a child with her so that his dead brother’s name would not be cease.  This is actually the reason that there is a difference between Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies of Jesus. Matthew gives the actual lineage of Joseph’s family to Jesus while Luke gives the legal lineage of Joseph’s family.  Therefore, they suggest this crazy, one-in-a-lifetime situation where seven brothers all marry the same woman and none of them have any children with her.  You see if any one of them had children with her then, in their minds, she would have been his rightful wife.  However, not one of them is bound to her through the procreation of children.  So….let me ask….Which one is her husband?  It is a quandaryHowever, instead of a stupid answer which a stupid question deserves, Jesus answers well.  He explains that no one will be married to her or anybody else in the life to come.  We will be like angels, Jesus says.  So, does that mean that we won’t maintain our identity in heaven?  Of course we will, on the Mt. of Transfiguration the disciples were able to distinguish Moses and Elijah.  In addition, the disciples were able to discern who Jesus was after He rose from the dead.  There is a movie in which the defense attorney tells everyone that they have found the victim of the supposed murder and she is about to enter the courtroom. Everyone turns to look. Obviously, the jurors believe that there is a distinct possibility that the alleged victim is still alive.  That is what Jesus demonstrates in the last portion of our text.  He demonstrates from the Pentateuch that people are raised to life eternal.  When God met Moses at the burning bush at Mt. Horeb, God introduced himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God cannot be God of dead people but only of living people.  In the movie, Sixth Sense, there is a boy who can see dead people walking around but they don’t know that they are dead.  That’s a little how it is in the time after we die, we are indeed dead as far as this life is concerned but we are indeed able to walk around as we enter the heavenly realm awaiting Christ’s return in glory and judgment.  One thing I have learned as a teacher is that you have you’ve answered a question well when you don’t get any more questions.  The last verse of the Bible text says, “Some of the teachers of the law responded, ‘well said, teacher!’ And no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Even some of Jesus’ other enemies praised Him for His wise answer.  In Peter’s first epistle or letter he writes, “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the hope that you have but do so with gentleness and respect.”  Sometimes people ask some questions that may seem like traps but be prepared to give wise answers so that God might use your testimony to bring others into His family.  When I was a young and new Christian I asked my youth pastor an important to me question.  I  wanted to know where God came from.  Instead of brushing me off….because I was just a kid….Rev. Kendall Taylor took the time to answer my question…and that made all the difference.  You see…I had posed that same question several years before to our senior pastor.  He did not have time for me….he told me it was a stupid question and to be quiet and quit trying to get attention.  I was not seeking attention….I had a legitimate question and just wanted an answer.  I learned then that you have to be careful just how you answer the questions of others.  You see….it may be a  “stupid” question to you....but it may indeed have eternal consequences.



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