74. Pharisees and Sadducees Test Jesus.
The Pharisees now went after Jesus using pretense and tricky questions in order to get him to incriminate himself against the Romans. First they complimented him on the honesty and straightforwardness of his speech, hoping his religious loyalty would betray him to the secular state. Many radical Jews were against supporting the Roman government by paying taxes to them; by asking him about the taxes they thought that he would either betray the Jewish nationals or rebel against Roman law. Jesus knew their game and answered in such a way that showed that one can either serve and support the state or God.
The conservative Sadducees did not believe in reincarnation or the liberation (resurrection) of the soul. Nevertheless they asked Jesus a complicated, hypothetical question regarding the resurrection in order to get him into a contradiction. Jesus began by telling them that they had gone astray in their beliefs since they did not understand their scripture or what God really does. For the liberated soul there is no sexual differentiation nor marriage; they are eternal, whole, and perfect like angels, for all souls (sons) are direct extensions of God's own being. The soul never dies but continues to reincarnate until it attains liberation. For God all souls are always alive, for he is God of the living. Therefore Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and every person who has ever lived still live somewhere.
God is the total unity of all that is. Therefore the greatest commandment is to love (which is the pure, active energy of Spirit) God with the wholeness of all the levels of our consciousness; to love this unity of goodness is to love the greatest good of all. As individuals this means that we love whoever we have contact with (neighbor) as much as we love ourselves. Since we are part of God we must love ourselves totally and the God in others totally. All spiritual teachings are derived from these principles. Whoever knows this is near the spiritual consciousness (sovereignty of God), and whoever does it is living the Spirit.
Jesus wanted to clarify a point in the Jewish consciousness which was calling the Christ the son of David. Since the Pharisees had been asking him questions, he took the opportunity to ask them about this expression. Then he showed from their scripture how David when he was in the consciousness of the Holy Spirit referred to the Christ as Lord. Therefore the Christ is not the son of David but the son of God.