Never play Two Up with Jesus. Heads he wins, tails we lose! What
do we learn about his enemies in the Gospel? Only that they never learn!
Has anything changed as we write our own new pages, chapters, extensions,
of Gospel today? If we think we can best God, we have another think coming!
Of those who try to trick Jesus with the One Coin Trick, the Complete Gospels
(Polebridge '94, ad loc) translates, 'They were dumfounded'. Of the crowd
who see how he bests those who try to trick him over the Levirate law,
it translates,' They were stunned.' Whether we're a religious heavy, or
simply one of God's 'little ones' are we as dumbfounded, stunned, at &
by God as we ought to be? If not, maybe we need to find a starting place
for a new stage of our spiritual journey!
Whoever it is Jesus tricks (yes, he does!) into producing the Roman coin makes a fool of himself as he would make a fool of Jesus. Such a pious one oughtn't to have such a foreign, pagan coin in his possession, except to actually pay the hated tax. Maybe that's what he's about to do when Jesus asks for the loan of it. Just having the coin is the man's own answer 'Yes' to the question they pose to entrap Jesus. But they are hoping Jesus'll say "No!" Then they'll have him! But it's not to be!
Pharisees allying themselves with Herodians is unholy. The Sadducees who follow up the Pharisees' attack may well be in on this too. Do we have unholy alliances like that in our church or wider milieu? A disturbing feature of Australian Anglicanism today is conservative 'evangelicals' in bed with conservative 'catholics' (whom they usually abhor - & vice versa!) e.g. to deny justice to women, deny them real equality with males in the church. On the basis of human 'tradition', either from Geneva or Rome. Often claiming 'Paul says' or 'Church says' as their authority. Dumbfounding! Stunning!
Not wise to try to prove too much from what Jesus says about the state & status of dead marriage partners being like angels at the resurrection! Except it suggests they continue to relate to God &, hopefully, to each other in God's service. The Great & Good News is that God is always the God of the living. I for one look forward, with my wife, to catching up with each other & all our forbears in faith who are already part of that same living & relating to God &, we sense already, to us. God's Name isn't 'I AM' for nothing. Is it, now?