Today's verse is Mark 12:18: "And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying..." Another group of people approached Jesus to question him. This group is called the "Sadducees". Who were they? They were a small group of people who garnered their authority from the different temple activities. They didn't have much association with common people. Their aristocratic and priestly influence separated them. Also, they greatly cooperated with Roman rule. Therefore, they had great influence in Jewish life. They liked their influence and power and desired to keep it. Most assuredly, they saw Jesus as a potential threat to their positions of influence in the temple and with Rome.
Theologically, they rejected the authority of the Mosaic law. Accordingly, they did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. This belief is what motivated them to approach Jesus and ask a rather nonsensical question about the resurrection from the dead (as we will see tomorrow).
The Sadducees would be akin today to theological liberals. They didn't hold strong convictions. They learned theology mostly for academic reasons. Their theological beliefs didn't much influence their personal lives.
I'm struck by the multitude of groups that rose up against Jesus: the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians etc. All were threatened by Jesus' popularity. All had a stake in being against him. All plotted together to have him killed.
Isn't it interesting how many people find their identity in a group? It can be the school we attend or attended, or the club we belong to, or the activity we commit to. It could be a gang or even a religious organization. It could be our city or nation. We all love groups to help us find identity.
But ultimately our identity can only be found in a relationship with Jesus. Groups and nations come and go. Only knowing we belong to Jesus gives us an eternal identity that can withstand rejection, torture or even death.
Where is your identity today? Is it in a group, club or activity? If so, it can't give you eternal significance.
Only Jesus can.