The priests and rulers had listened in silence to Christ's pointed rebukes. They could not refute his charges.
Determined more than ever to entrap the Master, instead of sending the Pharisees, they sent bright young men who were full of energy and faith. The Herodians, too, came to record Christ's words to be used against him in the future. Once bitter enemies, the Pharisees and the Herodians now joined forces to defeat their common enemy...Christ, and his teachings.
The Pharisees were rigid adherents to tradition.
Their man-made religion consisted in strict observance of ceremonies, washings, fasting, long pubic prayers, and alms-giving before cheering crowds. As a result, Christ declared that they discarded the Law of God and instead taught their man-made religious rules and regulations.
As a class, they were bigoted and hypocritical.
Even so, some of them did accept Christ's teachings and became his disciples.
The Sadducees rejected the traditions of the Pharisees.
Although accepting that most of the scriptures were supposed to be used as a guide for the rule of action, in practice, they were generally skeptics and materialists. They did not believe in angels, the resurrection, or life after death with its rewards or punishments.
It was their belief, that, having created man, God had left him to himself, independent of a higher influence. They held that men was free to control his own life and to shape the efents of the world; that his destiny was in his own hands. The denied that the Spirit of God works through human efforts or natural means.
Only by rigorous and austere exactions could a man's life be purified.
Their ideas of God molded their own character. As in their view he had no interest in man, so they had little regard for one another; there was little union among them.
By refusing to acknowledge the influence of the Holy Spirit in men's lives, they lacked it's power in their own lives. Believing it possible for all men to secure the creature-comforts and blessings of life, their hearts were not touched by the needs and suffering of others.
They lived for themselves.
Chafing under Roman taxation, believing it to be against the Law of God, the Pharisees thought to lay a snare for Jesus. Coming to Jesus, the young spies, with apparent sincerity, asked if it was their duty to pay tribute to Caesar.
But Jesus knew their evil motives. "You hypocrites!" he said. "Whom are you trying to fool with your trick questions? Show me a coin."
"Whose inscription is this?" he asked when handed one.
"The Kah'-ee-sar's (Caesar's)" they replied.
"Well, then," he said, "give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God."
His reply amazed them, and they went away.