THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME: One of the distasteful things in our day and age that everyone hates, but yet that we all remain hopelessly addicted to, is the toxic discourse we listen to and participate in when we talk about current events and politics. This isn't a recent development; everytime the establishment came to Jesus in this chapter, they're coming to Him to trap Him in His words, not to truly listen to what He says. Look at all of these attempts:
v5-6: The only thing they worry about in answering Jesus is how the answer will affect them, not in how truthful their reply is
v19: The only thing that keeps them from killing Jesus immediately is their fear of how the crowd will perceive them
v19 & 26: They intended to 'trap Jesus in His words,' but were silenced by His wisdom
v40: The Sadducees, Jewish leaders who didn't believe in life after death, tried to get Jesus to prove their case, but after He made it abundantly clear there is life after death (albeit it's a life that is described far differently than what we often think it will be) they literally cowered away, afraid to ask any more questions.
SAME SIN, WORSE PUNISHMENT: All of our sins can be traced back to Adam's first sin of trying to make God conform to his rules, rather than the other way around. This root sin has evolved into tens of thousands of different ways of working it out, but in the end sin is just us trying to force God into our own little boxes. In one sense, all sinners stand equally convicted before God, but in another, some sins result in greater punishment than others. This chapter ends with a serious warning: those who sin by denigrating true religion and worship 'will be punished most severely' (v47). That's why it's so important that we serve and worship God according to His Word, and not according to our own whims.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living (v37-38, Exodus 3:6).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Stop trying to put God in your own little box, and instead conform yourself to God's Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: