The Gospel According to You
“Some Sadducees . . . came to Jesus, . . .” Mark 12:18
The Sadducees were the rationalistic party among the Jews. They were friendly to the institution of religion but had no understanding of the heart and spirit of life. The Sadducees occupied all the important positions in the temple, yet they were hostile towards faithful devotion.
They saw the life of faith as superstitious fanaticism. The Sadducees placed great emphasis on the law, but they undervalued the prophet and all the achievements of faith, along with all the desires of a future faith, which included the belief in immortality. They believed there was no resurrection, no angels, and no Spirit.
But Jesus was not a Sadducee. He believed in heaven, He believed in angels and the afterlife. He believed God made man to live eternally and called him to live in His presence forever. He believed the central truth, all life revolved around the faithful nature of God. He believed that eternal life was not an extension of life, but a transformation of life; not a quantity of time, but a quality of spirit.
Believers today must guard against being too smart for faith. In rationalizing and intellectualizing our understanding of God, we create our own version of the gospel. The gospel according to you decides who is qualified to save, and the terms of salvation. Whenever we cling to a view of God that marginalizes His life-giving Spirit, the good news ceases to be good. The Sadducees’ narrow view of God produced ridicule toward Jesus. Anyone of us could end up living as the Sadducees.
The fabricated, philosophical arguments of the Sadducees were not part of the world in which Jesus lived. The ground on which Jesus stands, including both the resurrection and life after death, is faith in God. The living God, from which neither life, nor death, can separate us from the love of God.
Do you believe Jesus is the Savior, He died for our sin and bridged the separation between us and God? Have you added your own conditions to the gospel?