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What a trap! They came to put Jesus in jeopardy with the authorities regarding the payment of taxes to Caesar, and he turned it back on them. They were caught in their own theological trap because they had a double standard. They did their best to get along with the Roman authorities, while quietly teaching their people that God — not the civil authorities — must be the ultimate object of their worship. They taught that in the end, everything belongs to God, so when Jesus put before them the coin showing the image of Caesar, they were in a bind. The worship of the one on the coin was a basic principle of Roman citizenship. He was to be worshiped and obeyed not simply as the political primate, but as a god, and therefore a divine alternative to the God of Israel, to whom the Jewish leaders were bound.