The Sadducees Preside over the Rites of the Temple

The Sadducees saw themselves as the physical and spiritual descendants of Zadok, a high priest of the family of Aaron.

During the lifetime of Jesus, they presided over the rites and the sacrifices of the Temple in Jerusalem and made up most of the members of the Sanhedrin, the council that governed Jewish affairs during the Roman occupation.

By presiding over all the rites of the Temple, the Sadducees became very wealthy. They received the tithes and offerings of the people, which paid for the upkeep of the Temple and the livelihoods of the priests' families, and they were also the sellers of the sacrificial animals (especially lambs and doves) at the Temple.

Many of the priests who were members of the council of elders, or the Sanhedrin, were Sadducees.

Some Jews believed that the Sadducees refused the sacrifices they brought from home to the Temple (saying that the animals were blemished or impure), so the Sadducees could make them buy Temple animals at high prices.

The Sadducees were satisfied with life as they knew it - they and all their relatives were comfortable and prosperous. They were afraid that Jesus' changes would make their lives worse (Jesus drove the money-changers, who were probably the priests' relatives, out of the Temple, calling them thieves), and since the Sadducees were highly satisfied with their own lives, they saw little need for a better life after death.

With the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, they ceased to exist as a group, because their only function was to preside over a physical Temple.

Their spiritual descendants today are people who believe that God can only be found in certain places at certain times, and people who are so comfortable in their own lives that they have no compassion for people who have less than they do.


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