The First Encounter
“Three Encounters” begins with In a parable, a man leases a vineyard to vinedressers and goes away. When he sends servants to collect some fruit, they are beaten, stoned, or killed. He sends his son, hoping for respect, but the vinedressers kill him for the inheritance. The owner plans to destroy the vinedressers and give the vineyard to others. The audience realizes the parable criticizes them, but fear prevents them from retaliating.
The Second Encounter
The Pharisees and Herodians try to trap Jesus with a question about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus, aware of their hypocrisy, asks for a denarius and asks whose image and inscription it bears. When they answer “Caesar’s”, Jesus responds, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” They are amazed at his answer.
The Third Encounter
The Sadducees, who deny resurrection, question Jesus about a woman who married seven brothers consecutively. They ask, “Whose wife she will be in the resurrection?” Jesus corrects them, stating that people do not marry after the resurrection. He affirms the resurrection, stating that God is the God of the living, not the dead, and accuses the Sadducees of being greatly mistaken.
Lessons from Three Encounters
These three encounters teach us important lessons. The first encounters warns us about the consequences of rejecting God’s messengers and, ultimately, his own son. This encounter emphasizes the importance of recognizing and respecting God’s authority. The second encounter teaches us about the balance between our civic duties and our devotion to God. We must fulfill our responsibilities in the world while remaining faithful to our spiritual beliefs. The third encounter challenges our understanding of the afterlife and affirms the resurrection. It reminds us that God is the God of the living. And our earthly relationships and concerns may not hold the same significance in eternity.