By Jesus' response to the Pharisees and Herodians
, we are called to see that earthly names and the authority they carry which may be used to set us against one another in human community are set below the primary name by which we are called: beloved child of God.
Jesus did indeed proclaim peace--"blessed are the peace-makers"--but unlike the imposed peace of Roman imperial rule and their Herodian retainers, the peace of Jesus came from the heart and called for openness, trust, and respect for the other.
Even within the Galilee of Jesus' day there were tangible signs of Romanization at the Herodian centers of Sepphoris and Tiberias.
Jesus the prophet, teacher, and healer tells parables that uncover and challenge the social injustices imbedded in the political, economic, and religious structures of his day; he encourages practices that resist the oppression of the Romans, Herodians, and high priests; and he follows a path that puts him in direct conflict with all those who trod on the weak and crush the lowly.
We have a rich feel for the routines and perils of daily life under Roman and Herodian rulers at war with Zealot rebels, and we come to see Yeshua of Nazareth as a Jew among Jews, a brilliant young student of the rabbis with an uncanny gift for mystical prayer.
The healing precipitates a murderous conspiracy: "The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him" (3:6).
Not only have the scribes, Pharisees and Herodians turned on Jesus; even his family attempts to "restrain him," for people were saying "he is out of his mind" (3:21).
Jesus said to the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians
who came to set a trap for him: ".
Jesus has already had it out with the chief priests and elders, the scribes, and the Pharisees (21:15, 23, 46), and now he goes toe to toe with the Herodians
(government loyalists) and the disciples of the Pharisees.
Indeed, in 3:6 the narrator informs hearers that the Pharisees, who claim God's authority to interpret the law, "immediately held counsel with the Herodians
against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus had warned his beloved disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of the Herodians