When the Rabbis saw how things were going, they too raised their voices and shouted: “Praised be the Prophet! Hail to thee, O Nazarene!”
“All is won!” whispered the disciples, crowding up together. “Even the Rabbis shout!”
The Rabbis, however, had quickly sent for the police; they came up to Jesus and, as soon as the crowd became quieter, entered into conversation with Him.
“Master,” said one of them, “truly you appear at the right time. The condition of our poor people is such that we know not which way to turn. You are the man who turns aside neither to right nor left, but who keeps in the straight path of justice. Tell us what you think: Shall we Jews pay taxes to the Roman Emperor or shall we refuse?”
Jesus saw what they were driving at, and asked to be shown a coin. They were surprised that He had no money in His pockets, and handed Him one of the Roman coins current in the country.
“From whom do these coins come?” He asked.
“As you see, from the Roman Emperor.”
“And whose picture is on the coin?”
“And whose is the inscription on the coin?”
“Whose is the coin?”
They were silent.
Jesus said: “Render unto God what comes from Him, and unto Caesar what comes from Caesar.”
Those who saw through the case broke out into applause and shouting over the decision, and carried the crowd with them. The Rabbis were secretly furious that He had escaped their cunning snare. They had reckoned: If He says, Pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, the people will know that He is not the Messiah but rather a servant of the foreigner. And if He says, Do not pay taxes to the Emperor, He is a demagogue, and will be taken prisoner. But now He has both Emperor and people on His side, and we must let Him alone.
“Everything is going splendidly,” the disciples whispered. “They ask His advice, they will do nothing without Him.”
The interpreters of the Law had got Him in their midst, and could not rest till they outwitted Him. So one of them asked Him: “Oh, man of great wisdom, do you believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead?”
“There will be,” He answered.
“That marriage between man and woman is indissoluble, and that a woman may only have one husband at a time?”
“That is so.”
“And that after the death of one the other may marry again?”