The Gospels refer often to the Sadducees and Pharisees, as Jesus was in constant conflict with them. The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Israel. There are many similarities between the two groups but important differences between them as well.
During the time of Christ and the New Testament era the Sadducees were aristocrats. They tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions including that of chief priests and high priests, and they held the majority of the 70 seats of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. They worked hard to keep the peace by agreeing with the decisions of Rome (Israel at that time was under Roman Control) and they seemed to be more concerned with politics than religion. Religiously, the Sadducees were more conservative in one main area of doctrine. The following is a brief list of beliefs they held that contradict the scripture:
- They were extremely self-sufficient to the point of denying God’s involvement in everyday life.
- They denied any resurrection of the dead (Matt 22:26; Mk 12:18-27)
- They denied any after life, holding that the soul perished at death, and therefore denying any penalty or reward after the earthly life.
- They denied the existence of a spiritual world i.e angels and demons (Acts 23:8).
Because the Sadducees were more concerned with politics than religion, they were unconcerned with Jesus until they became afraid he might bring unwanted Roman affection. It was at this point that they united and conspired with the Pharisees to kill Jesus.
Today, are there no Sadducees in our Churches who have believed wrong doctrines and who wherever they perceive threat to their ungodly influence in the church connive with others like them to persecute or resist men of God or Pastors who tell them the truth?
If you belong to this group, repent today, tomorrow may be too late!
Your Vicar & Friend