12:13-17 The enemies of Christ would be thought desirous to know their duty, when really they hoped that which soever side he took of the question, they might find occasion to accuse him. Nothing is more likely to insnare the followers of Christ, than bringing them to meddle with disputes about worldly politics. Jesus avoided the snare, by referring to the submission they had already made as a nation; and all that heard him, marvelled at the great wisdom of his answer. Many will praise the words of a sermon, who will not be commanded by the doctrines of it.
Mr 12:13-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute the Resurrection, and the Great Commandment, with the Replies—Christ Baffles the Pharisees by a Question about David, and Denounces the Scribes. ( = Mt 22:15-46; Lu 20:20-47).
The time of this section appears to be still the third day (Tuesday) of Christ's last week. Matthew introduces the subject by saying (Mt 22:15), "Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk."
13. And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees—"their disciples," says Matthew (Mt 22:16); probably young and zealous scholars in that hardening school.
and of the Herodians—(See on Mt 12:14). In Lu 20:20 these willing tools are called "spies, which should feign themselves just [righteous] men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor." Their plan, then, was to entrap Him into some expression which might be construed into disaffection to the Roman government; the Pharisees themselves being notoriously discontented with the Roman yoke.
Tribute to Cæsar (Mr 12:14-17).