Luke 20:34-38

In this passage Luke communicates Jesus’ views on marriage in the afterlife, suggesting there is no marriage in heaven.

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου γαμοῦσιν καὶ γαμίσκονται, οἱ δὲ καταξιωθέντες τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου τυχεῖν καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὔτε γαμοῦσιν οὔτε γαμίζονται· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται, ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες. ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροί, καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς βάτου, ὡς λέγει κύριον τὸν θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ καὶ θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ θεὸν Ἰακώβ. θεὸς δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν νεκρῶν ἀλλὰ ζώντων, πάντες γὰρ αὐτῷ ζῶσιν.

  • Jesus states that Moses calls God the “Lord of Abraham, and of Isaak, and of Jacob”. Whereas in Exodus 3:6, The text reports that it is God talking. I guess it is possible that Jesus means “Moses” aka “The book of Moses” rather than Moses himself. How do we understand this?
  • This text introduces the word ἰσάγγελοι. Which is a combination of the word for angel, and the word ἴσος which means like or equals. Thankfully the word has the parallel in the English phrase “isosceles triangle”, making it easy to remember.
  • Jesus uses the word αἰῶνος to distinguish between “this age” and the next rather than the word “dispensationalism”. Should we prefer Jesus’ terminology here? What is an “age” to Jesus. Does αἰῶνος capture all of human existence on earth?Does this passage challenge the idea of soul sleep? Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all “am” at the same time. If God is outside of time, then this seems compatible. If however there is linear time in heaven, then Abraham must be up there right now.

Theological application

Jesus understands that there is a resurrection of the dead, and understands that the Old Testament teaches a state of existence after death. Although the role of this text in Lukes narrative is to warn people against the leaders of Israel, and to show that Jesus wise enough not to be fooled by human traps. The conversation itself still becomes a key text for the doctrine of the resurrection.