If you were at church Sunday night you heard our discussion during the FAQ series on will we be married in heaven?
You have asked me to blog it so here it is.
My answer is straight forward and based on the account in scripture in Matthew 22. This specific question was asked and answered by Jesus himself.
(Matthew 22:23-30 NKJV)
The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
Obviously the point of this question was to argue with Jesus about the resurrection, but Jesus by addressing the question on marriage reveals how inadequate the Sadducees were in their grasp of the scripture and this particular theological concept.
Jesus reveals to them there is a resurrection and we will not be married or have the need for marriage in heaven.
In our humanity we need and want the relationships we have. But when we go to heaven our desires and needs, devotions and dedications will take on a new form. We are the bride of Christ and He is the focal point in Heaven. We will know people there like we do here. We will see loved ones who’ve gone before, it will be the most amazing place for us, he is still our focal point.
The answer today is as specific as it was then. What about divorce’s, what about remarried widows or widowers?
Which one will you be married to? It can’t be based on some subjective desire, based on our current human needs or wants. So therefore it must not be.
In my mind there is really no argument here. Jesus was asked the specific question and he gave a specific answer.
I like the way it reads in the message.
(Matthew 22:30 MSG)
At the resurrection we’re beyond marriage. As with the angels, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God.
The point was made that the message is a paraphrase, for those of you who use the message let me assure you it is considered both.
When we use the term paraphrase we automatically think of the idea of taking a king James or English version of the bible and putting it in modern terms, which leaves room for subjectivity and personal preference in the process.
Eugene Peterson the translator of the message bible and his team are Hebraic and Greek scholars and although they did put it in modern language it was taken straight from the Greek and Hebrew. To understand a little more about how translation works read this.
“Since Eugene Peterson worked with the text strictly from Greek and Hebrew to English, he did what a translator does by choosing contemporary English words that best express the meaning of the original language. As all translators do, he used interpretative skill in choosing those English words. However, he “paraphrased” the original by selecting language that communicates the style and flavor of the original in Bible times—rather than trying to achieve word-for-word correspondence. Translation is generally thought of as bringing the meaning from one language to another, whereas a paraphrase is usually a rewording of a document within the same language. But in a sense, all translation also involves paraphrasing. There is no distinct line that can be drawn between the two. Sometimes it takes five English words to bring across the meaning of a single Greek word; other times only one English word is required to communicate five Greek words.
When Eugene began his work on The Message, he looked at how scholars had translated Homer from Greek to English. Some had tried to match word for word; others attempted to recreate the poetry of Homer in English. The Message leans toward the latter. Eugene’s intent was to recapture the tone, to bring out the subtleties and nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages while keeping a sense of firsthand experience for contemporary readers. He often asked himself, “If Paul were the pastor of my church, how would he say this?” or “If Jesus were here teaching, what would it sound like?”
So, is it a translation or a paraphrase? It is probably most accurately called a paraphrase—an intelligent paraphrase. It is a bridging of the gap between the original languages and English, and between centuries of time and language change, to bring to us the Bible as it originally sounded.”
I show you this to say there is no inaccuracy in that scripture, and I use the message version merely to emphasize what the (NKJ) already told us. The answer is no.
So those are my thoughts on this question hope it helps.
One thing that is very important to me as a Christian, pastor, preacher and leader, is that we are careful not to make the bible say what we want it to but to listen to what it does say and act accordingly.