Read: Psalm 18:30; Mark 12:18-27
It's so easy to make a mistake. At least, that is true in my life. It could be adding a bit too much salt to a recipe or transposing the numbers when writing the balance in my bank records. Even today, I made a mistake and found it necessary to backtrack. May I explain? I received a prayer request; so I wrote it up and prepared to send it to those who would be praying. I checked for spelling and grammar. Okay, as far as I could discern. I checked for the wording. It seemed fine. When I finished sending it out, I reread what I had written. Oh no! Though I had proofread, I put the wrong name in one of the sentences, and the request was therefore confusing. Backtrack time. I sent out another e-mail, admitting my mistake and clarifying my wording so that the sense of the request was then as it should have been. I'm thankful I caught my mistake and that I was able to fix it.
This little incident caused me, once again, to remember that God never needs to backtrack because His ways and words are flawless, Psalm 12:6; Psalm 18:30. He never has or will ever have to backtrack because of a mistake that will ever come to light. When it appears to us that God has made a mistake, the problem is that we don't have His perspective, Isaiah 55:8-9. We see such a tiny part of what He is doing, and because our view is so limited. We often make the same mistake the Sadducees made when we forget two precious things. More about that later after we look at Mark 12:18-27.
I smile when I read this because here are men who are trying to trap Jesus, Who is God walking among them, John 1:14. That is more unbelievable than my trying to explain how a computer works to Bill Gates. Yet, it was the aim of this group to ask a question that Jesus couldn't answer; so, they invented a ridiculous scenario. They built their story around Deuteronomy 25:5 which commanded that if a man were to die prior to having a son, his brother should marry the widow. Oh, but they didn't stop there. They threw out the possibility that the widow had to keep marrying brothers because they kept dying before she could have a son. At long last, in their made-up example, the woman also died. The Sadducees didn't believe that the dead would ever be resurrected, and they thought their story would show the foolishness of that belief. They thought they had stumped Jesus.
Here is where it truly became interesting. Jesus told them that it was not the belief in the dead rising that was incorrect as they believed. Rather, they were the ones who were mistaken because they knew neither the scriptures or the power of God, Mark 12:24. Isn't it beautiful? Jesus took their desire to trip Him up and turned it into a teaching moment. Their beliefs were wrong because they didn't know what God had said in His Word, they didn't believe all of the Old Testament scriptures, and they did not understand the power of God. Jesus then corrected their thinking by speaking about the resurrection and the truth that our lives in eternity will be different than the ones we now live on earth. He didn't stop there. To prove to the Sadducees that the dead would be raised, Jesus highlighted truth from the scriptures that they believed. He spoke about God referring to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Exodus 3:6. He reminded the Sadducees that God is the God of the living. Those three patriarchs were gloriously still alive and they would rise in the resurrection. It wasn't Jesus Who needed to backtrack. It was the religious leaders of the day who needed to believe all the scriptures and trust in God's power to accomplish all that He said He would do.
Back to us. How often do we forget about those same two precious things? The Word of God and His power. How important it is to return to the scriptures and the power of God when it appears that God has made a mistake. It is in the scriptures that we are reminded of God's character and His love for us. It is in thinking of His power that we are reminded that nothing is too hard for Him, Genesis 18:14. I love the context of this truth. Abraham and Sarah were being promised a child when there was no possibility of it happening. God never had to backtrack on what He had promised because there is no limit to what He is able to do, and He never lies, Ephesians 3:20; Titus 1:2.
Think of it. God will never have to say that He simply can't do something that He said He would do. He will never have to say that someone has found a mistake in His actions or wisdom, Romans 11:33-36.
Lord, we stumble in many ways, James 3:2. When we do make mistakes, help us to remember Your flawlessness, rather than spending too much time focusing on our errors. We're so thankful that You use mistake prone people like us to tell others about Your perfection.