Hypothetical Question or Hypocritical Problem: Matthew 22:29
“But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭29‬ ‭
In the context, the Sadducees had come to Jesus with a hypothetical question designed to stump Him about His view of the resurrection. They posed a question about a woman who had married into a family of seven brothers and each in turn died and the next in turn married her in an attempt to raise up children. None were successful. Then the woman also died. The question was, “28) In the resurrection therefore whose wife of the seven shall she be? For they all had her.”
Skeptics and critics raise hypothetical questions all the time in an attempt to disallow God or justify wrong behavior. Some are carnal Christians trying to defend dysfunctional living. The response Jesus gave was absolutely profound; “29) … You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.”
I have come back to this verse repeatedly over the years in my life. This is where philosophy and psychology fall short. This is also where modern theology often goes astray. Anytime the Word of God is understood in such a way as to minimize the power of God, it is erroneous.
The standard of truth is not human experience, it is the Word of God. If my experience is falling short of what Scripture teaches… then the problem is within me and not God. To say that “God does not do miracles today because I am not experiencing miracles”; fits the pattern of the same problematic reasoning of the Sadducees. It is a clever attempt to cover up an inner void.
This is an indication that a person is living on the level of the flesh or soul and has not entered into the reality of spirit/Spirit life. The absence of “Zoe life” views the Bible and God through the lens of naturalism. In the process, the Scriptures get twisted.
This introduces us to another New Testament term that is often glossed over by western Christianity. It is the Greek word “dunamis” as seen in Acts 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 2:4-5. It is often translated as “power.” Man made religion can scratch the inner “God itch”; but it is always void of God’s power.
This is symptomatic of man made religion. Modern western Christianity often minimizes and explains away the power of God while rationally making excuses for the flesh and soul to rule. Paul talked about the end result of this error in 2 Timothy 3:10: “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” (There is that Greek word “dunamis” again!)
Let me make an observation; “Zoe life” and “dunamis” go hand in hand in the New Testament. The more you grow in Zoe life the more you start walking in the power of God. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is always accompanied by “dunamis.” Man made religion is always void of “dumanis.”
Go back and review the way Paul prayed for new believers in Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21. This time look for the word “power.” It is going to shock you!
This biblical connection between Zoe and dunamis is what started to expose my own shallow Christian life. I was full of theology, but void of power. My inner man was famished. Scriptures like Ephesians 3:16-19 haunted me. I believed in Jesus, but rivers of living water were not flowing from my innermost being. (John 7:37-39) I was mostly dry on the inside.
But, I refused to live in either denial or hypocrisy. There was a void in my life and I set out to find solid biblical answers. My search kept pointing me back to the inner ministry of the Holy Spirit. I could no longer deny Him, resist Him or hold Him at arms length. Jesus graciously took me by the hand and started introducing me both biblically and experientially to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Behind many hypothetical questions are often hidden hypocritical problems. I was using clever evangelical jargon to hide the truth that I was empty inside and void of both Zoe life and power. I was walking in the shoes of the Sadducees, but I was sincerely begging Jesus to fill me with truth and transform me.
These words of Jesus haunted me; “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” I needed a change in my life! Are you willing to admit the same?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global