Mark 12:26

“As to the dead, and the fact that they rise, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him saying – ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

what is claimed as resurrection
turns out to be
past still present
relating to what is not yet present
through intermediary today

asking about what is not known
has the delicious affect
of a magician’s favorite trick
working yet again
a big grinned open mind

rejecters of resurrection
find themselves in its midst
petard hoisted
blown by their own bomb
insufficient to do in reality

to claim mosaic descendancy
requires Moses resurrected
in every prophet
while each new Joshua
releads a relanding

Remembering that it is the Sadducees who hold the Books of Moses to be their highest authority, Jesus quotes from their own favored source—Exodus 3:2–6. Don’t you feel at least a touch of anger at having been caught at a basic point?

Those who tend to take their reading literally, are seldom happy when a clear point is muddied by an extension that causes conflict with either another clear point or the way it has come to be generally understood.

A reflection about how the present connects with the past has now become a point that connects the present with the future. The Sadducees are quite capable of disputing this leap while Mark is happy enough to leave that out. Whenever the Sadducees are later talking about Jesus, this moment will return to them to justify a deepening of their intra-Jewish rift with Jesus.

Accusing the Sadducees of ignorance of their own field of expertise in both their question and the presumptions behind that question clarifies, hardens, their resolve to win their war, regardless of how many battles such as this are lost. Literalness is forever falling prey to its initial reading. A lack of flexibility of a hard word in a changing context leaves it vulnerable to a final catastrophic fall.

Self-understood winning, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary, will show up in every generation of Jesus Disciples.

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