After their trickery was unveiled by the Master in a series of parables, the Pharisees grew angry and talked together to try to trap Jesus in His words. They joined with the Herodians, a group who supported the governance of the Roman gentiles.
“Master, we know that you are true,” one said, smiling through his lie. “You teach truthfully the way of God, and you don’t care about any man’s opinion, or try to gain their favor. Tell us then, is it good to pay tribute to Caesar or not?”
The trap was laid. If Jesus said yes, then He would be supporting Rome and would make many Jews angry. If He said no, He would be recommending to break the law and could be arrested by the Roman authorities. Jesus, however, saw the trap and was unafraid.
“You hypocrites, why do you attempt to trick me?” Jesus asked wearily. “Show me a coin.”
They gave Him a penny.
“Whose image is pressed into the penny?” Jesus asked, showing them the coin.
“Caesar’s,” responded the Pharisees.
“Give Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give God what is God’s,” answered Jesus.
When the Pharisees and the Herodians heard this, they were amazed. Jesus had answered truthfully and had escaped their trap with ease. They left Him and went their separate ways, defeated for now.