May 31, 2017

No Marriage in Heaven

Jesus explained there is no marriage in heaven, but the example presented to him by the Sadducees, which is not listed as a parable, has always bothered me. According to my NIV Study Bible being childless was, “…generally considered to indicate divine disfavor and often brought social reproach.” The prominent barren ladies of Scripture are Sarai, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah and Elizabeth. In my mind I’ve always included the woman who in succession was married to, and widowed by, seven brothers. When putting myself in her place I can only imagine the disgrace she endured being passed from one brother to the next and never having children. However, a closer look at the text doesn’t describe her as barren. Luke wrote, “Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too” (Luke 20:29-32). These brothers no doubt had other wives, but still no children. It’s possible that the woman did not endure as much disgrace during her life as I had originally envisioned.

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