On one of the days when Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders approached him.
They said, "Tell us: What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?"
He replied, "I have a question for you. Tell me:
Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin?"
They discussed among themselves, "If we say, ‘It's of heavenly origin,' he'll say, ‘Why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, ‘It's of human origin,' all the people will stone us to death because they are convinced that John was a prophet."
They answered that they didn't know where it came from.
Then Jesus replied, "Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things."