And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (Mark 12:24)
Jesus faced His crucifixion just days away. Jerusalem was already in full Passover mode as Jews descended on the capital city from all over the Roman world. This was one of three holy convocations where Jews were to gather to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23). The Jewish religious leaders were already plotting to have Jesus killed, but because of His popularity, they couldn’t just kill Him. They had to bring up charges against Him that would warrant execution, so they tried to trip Him up with questions regarding their Jewish laws and traditions.
So it was in this case. First they approached Him with a question on paying taxes to Rome. They first tried to butter Him up with false flattery: “Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth” (Mark 12:14). They addressed Him as “Master,” i.e., “teacher,” yet they disregarded His teaching even though they stated that He “taught the way of God.” Their question failed to challenge Jesus. The answer was easy: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17).
The Sadducees, who “say there is no resurrection” (Mark 12:18), followed up with a question concerning the resurrection. Their question was well thought out – they thought. Seven brothers had the same wife, and they all died including the wife. In the resurrection, whose wife shall she be? Aha! Answer that one, Jesus! Jesus replied that there is no marriage in heaven, but before giving His answer, He chided them for their ignorance of Scripture and consequently the power of God (our verse above).
We do often err because we “do not know the Scriptures.” It’s no great challenge to find this ignorance working in a non-believing world, but it’s sad to find the same ignorance, albeit perhaps not as pronounced, among “believers.” One common example is the controversy over creation. Did God cause the Big Bang and then use millions of years of death and suffering to create life by means of evolution? Or did God create in six 24-hour days as clearly recorded in Genesis 1?
Those believers that support the Big Bang and evolution come in different varieties, but they all prefer “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20) over the clear teaching of Scripture. They hold the word of man in higher regard than the Word of God. They do err because they “know not the scriptures, neither the power of God.” The power of God! God says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). “I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it” (Ezekiel 36:36). “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). If God cannot do what He clearly said He did in Genesis 1, then neither can He part the waters of the Red Sea, cause the Sun to stop, or turn back ten degrees, make an ax head float, cleans a leper’s spots, turn water into wine, walk on water or calm the raging sea. If God cannot create as He said He did in Genesis 1, neither can He raise the dead, much less raise Himself from the dead. You do err because you do not know the Scriptures, and because you do not know the Scriptures, you do not know the power of God. What you don’t know can lead you astray. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).