In light of the earlier discussion on Christian chastity, I was struck by Sunday’s reading and noticed something in it I’d never seen before. Here it is with emphasis:
Luke 20:27-38 27Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30then the second 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.” 34Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”
From Oremus.org’s NRSV.
Luke has Jesus making a contrast between two ages. These ages are not temporal, rather, they are paradigms of existence. He opposes “this age” (i.e., the present age, the status quo) with “that age” (i.e., those worthy of and who will participate in the resurrection; read with Christian eyes=us).
The explicit message of Jesus on marriage, then, is that children of the resurrection don’t do it…