Games People Play

Luke 20:27, “they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

Pastor Matt Chandler recently finished up a sermon series called, Games People Play, taken from Luke 20.  You may listen or download a pdf of the sermons at The Village Church website:

Now when I first read this, I thought it

was just a silly question. Here’s what I mean. I’ve had multiple opportunities to sit in front of non-Christian crowds and answer questions about our faith. It usually involves me apologizing a lot and then pointing out their flaws in their way of thinking. The funny thing about skeptics of Christianity is they are far less likely to look at their own belief system before attacking ours. So it’s really not that difficult to go, “Actually, we’re doing what we’re saying better than you’re doing what you’re saying.” I’ve never done it where I haven’t gotten this question: “Can God make a rock so big that He can’t lift it?” Do you see what he’s trying to do? It’s a little philosophical game. Because if He could, God’s not all powerful, and if He can’t, then God’s not all powerful. It’s a philosophical game that has no genuineness of heart, no actual seeking. It’s a philosophical question to which I always say, “That’s a silly question.” I thought the Sadducees were asking a silly question like that one.

And then I got married. And now what if anything happens to me, what if I’m killed on my way home tonight. Lauren is an attractive woman. I’ve put some “man repellant” on her by having three kids with her, but she’s still beautiful. I’m assuming that at 29 and beautiful, even with three well-behaved children, some man is going to try to snatch her up. My question is, when we’re all in glory, is that awkward? “Hey Lauren, who’s that?” The Sadducees are just going, “What if that happens seven times?” If it’s awkward with two, how awkward would it be with seven? I think it’s a legitimate question about an issue that’s very personal to the Sadducees. It’s an area of doctrine; it’s an area of theology; it’s something that Jesus has clearly taught on that they don’t like. So they’ve got this little area, and they’re saying, “Answer me this question.” It’s a “I will not submit to You as God unless You answer this the way I want You to answer it.”

And that’s the change the subject game, because God will confront us and confront our hearts about our own lives and our hearts and where we stand, and instead of dealing with that, we’ll pull up an issue that’s important to us and go, “I cannot submit to You because of this over here, this over here and this over here.” And God’s going, “No, I’m talking about your heart right now. I’m about a secondary issue. And so, people all the time will feel the call from God to submit to Him, and instead they’ll pick an issue like the role of women and men, whether that’s homosexuality, they’ll pick an issue that’s close to them because of family and friends and they’ll say, “I can’t submit to You over there because I know where You land over here. And eventually, You’re going to want to take me and work on me about this, but I’m not giving that up.” And so we decide not to follow Him at all because we’ve got this thing that we don’t want to let go of. It happens all the time. It’s a game that we play. And because we want to have the appearance of godliness, we’ll stay close to church, but in the end we have no intention of beginning to give our hearts to Him because we know that He’s going to want to talk about this. That’s the second game we play.