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Infertility and resurrection


By Dr Edward Tamale-Sali

During Jesus’ three-year ministry about 2019 years ago, He handled different medical issues most doctors handle daily. He met people with mental illness, fevers, epilepsy, leprosy, cancers, gynecological and the dead, etc. We know Jesus is the greatest physician. He healed every disease known to man (Luke 4:40). He never turned away or said to a patient “I am sorry this disease is very advanced, you have only days to live”. The Bible says “He healed all manners of illnesses, including resurrecting the dead”. Jesus was a doctor whose hospital had no mortuary. Many people today do not believe in resurrection just like was the case during Jesus’ time.


Sadducees were religious people who did not believe in resurrection. Even after witnessing Jesus resurrect the dead, their hearts were bent to doubt and disbelief. They came to Jesus and presented a case scenario of seven brothers who had married (inherited) one woman, but she never conceived from any of them. This recorded in all gospels except the gospel of John (Mathew 22:25-31, Mark 12: 18-27, Luke 20:2740). In the Jewish culture, it was the norm for a brother to inherit his deceased brother’s wife. Even today in some African and Arabs communities, widow inheritance is still practiced. There must have been an infertility issue running through this family. While it sounds acceptable to blame the woman, chances are these brothers had a fertility problem. Whereas the reader might focus on who the wife belonged to, a medical issue is presented. This family had a fertility problem. In this passage, fertility and resurrection are well connected. The seven brothers and their wife eventually die without a child. In Luke 20:33, the Sadducees are much concerned with who will be this woman’s husband in the resurrection.


As a fertility doctor, we see similar cases almost every day. In the African setting, women are always blamed whenever there is a fertility problem. But God’s revelation, through scientific measures, has proven women are not always to blame. In fertility studies, there are male factors that affect their fertility potentials. There are also certain female factors that could contribute to the inability to have children. It is amazing to see how the Bible illustrates this in the tale between Jesus and the Sadducees. The Bible implied a medical condition on either side. The woman could have been infertile, but the seven brothers, too, could have also been infertile. Perhaps, it was due to a severe form of low sperm count (oligospermia). Low sperm count means that the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains less sperm than normal. A disease called mumps is very common to affect boys, leading to this problem. It is possible the seven brothers could have been affected by mumps, leading to this observation that made these Sadducee speak to Jesus about marriage and resurrection. Easter is a resurrection season, and this passage calls upon all those men faced with infertility. God can and will resurrect our seed this season.


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