God's Kingdom and Human Government

Matthew 22:15-22

Pharisees and Herodians Challenge Jesus
Since Jesus arrived at the Temple for Passover, Mt has described the growing conflict with the chief priests -- like the prophets' condemnation of Jerusalem leaders before the exile.
Passover was a time of intense feeling about deliverance from oppression as in the Exodus. Rome had overthrown the last independent Jewish kings, and used the upstart Herod to drive out Parthian forces and secure the region. When Herod died, they divided it among three sons. The son that they put over Judea and Samaria, Archelaus, was a poor ruler. Rome deposed him in ad 6 and took over direct rule under a Roman prefect (now Pontius Pilate). They carried out a tax census and imposed direct head tax on the population (Zacchaeus).