Images and Appearances
When Jesus asks the Pharisees whose picture is on the coin, he uses very specific language: “Whose image is this?” This is a call back to Genesis 1. When God created humanity God created them “in the image of God.” So when Jesus asks whose image is on the coin, this is not a call for clarification, but a call for them to recognize and begin a conversation about who we are in relation to God, who is the image on the coin? Caesar is not God, but he bears the image of God as we all do. Thus all our actions should be so oriented to point others to the God who created us all. Coins are a human creation, and fundamentally artificial. God owns them all.
When the Sadducees asks about marriage after the resurrection of the dead, they are not being serious. They are trying to point out what they believe to be the ridiculousness of such a belief. But the resurrection of the dead and the coming Kingdom of God is not merely an extension of this life (though that is how many view it today). Instead it is something greater, grander and beyond finite human comprehension. Marriage is a glimpse of this greater reality, not a precursor to it. They have made a fundamental category mistake. Marriage is “till death do us part” not “for all time and eternity.” Once the fullness of the Kingdom is present, there is little need for the dim picture that marriage presents us. This is not to downplay marriage, far from it! The dim picture that marriage gives us is one of infinite goodness. Thus to bring a glimpse of infinite goodness into our corrupted finitude is still beyond just about anything else we can now experience. But all things will pass away and be burned up in the refining fire of God.