And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Comment: Over His several years of public ministry the religious leaders had come to hate Jesus. He didn’t walk ‘heel-to-toe’ along their line! I suspect that with the question they asked Him they wanted Jesus to answer in some way or other that He did what He did because He was God. Then they could have accused Him of blasphemy, a charge deserving the death penalty. He replied ‘You answer My question first and then I will answer yours.’ Having heard Jesus’ question they soon worked out that with either of the two very possible answers they would be in strife. They would be off-side with the masses who saw John as a great prophet or they would need to acknowledge Jesus’ close relationship to God. They decided it was safer to say neither. I love the way that Jesus said then neither will I answer your question – tit for tat. They already had every reason to know that He was from God but they were not going to fool Him into answering unwisely! As you will see soon, later He did answer in one syllable words!
Prayer: Help me to be open before You, knowing that I am already at any rate!