23 The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So that same day some of the Sadducees came to Jesus and said:
24 Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother.
Richard: Having children (when you are married!) is very important.
12 The Lord will not forget
to give us his blessing;
he will bless all of Israel
and the family of Aaron.
13 All who worship the Lord,
no matter who they are,
will receive his blessing.
Exposition of the Divine Principle
3 Color Edition-The Red part
THE SECOND COMING OF ELIJAH AND JOHN THE BAPTIST
The prophet Malachi foretold that Elijah would come again: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” Jesus testified that the prophesied coming of Elijah was realized in none other than John the Baptist: “I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. . . .” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. —Matt. 17:12-13
2.1 THE JEWISH BELIEF IN THE RETURN OF ELIJAH
Since the disciples already believed that Jesus was the Messiah, they willingly accepted his testimony that John the Baptist was Elijah. Yet how could others who did not know Jesus accept this controversial claim?
2.2 THE DIRECTION THE JEWISH PEOPLE WOULD CHOOSE
Jesus made it plain that John the Baptist was the very Elijah whom the people were so anxiously awaiting, while on the contrary, John the Baptist himself flatly negated this claim. Whose words were the Jewish people to believe? This matter obviously depended on which of the two, Jesus or John, appeared more credible and respectable in the eyes of the people of that time.
When the Jewish people of Jesus’ day compared Jesus and John the Baptist, who appeared more credible to them? Without a doubt, John’s words had more credibility. Therefore, they naturally believed John the Baptist when he denied being Elijah more than they believed Jesus’ testimony that John was Elijah. Since the people believed John, they considered Jesus’ words to be a fabrication concocted to support his dubious claim to be the Messiah. Consequently, Jesus was condemned as an impostor.
2.3 THE FAITHLESSNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Many among the Jewish leadership and people of Jesus’ day had the highest respect for John the Baptist; some even thought of him as the Messiah. Had John the Baptist announced that he was Elijah, as Jesus had testified, those who were eagerly waiting for the Messiah would have readily believed John’s testimony and flocked to Jesus. Instead, John’s ignorance of God’s providence, which led him to insist that he was not Elijah, became the principal reason why the Jewish people did not come to Jesus. Here we have come to understand that the main reason why Jesus had to die on the cross was the failure of John the Baptist.
2.4 THE SENSE IN WHICH JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS ELIJAH
We have stated previously that John the Baptist was to inherit and complete the mission which Elijah had left unfinished on earth. As recorded in the Bible, he was born with the mission to go before the Lord, “in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Hence, in terms of his mission, John was the second coming of Elijah.
2.5 OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BIBLE
We have been reading the Bible based on the unquestioned belief that John the Baptist was a great prophet. Our new insight into John the Baptist teaches us that we should dispense with the conservative attitude of faith which makes us afraid to question conventional beliefs and traditional doctrines.
View slides 33 to 53 below for an illustrated presentation of the above content:2007p1-CHAPT-4-The-Messiah-_revised-4-28-2014