One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts1 and preaching the gospel,2 the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.
"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?"3
He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me,
John's baptism4--was it from heaven, or from men?"
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men,' all the people5 will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."6
So they answered, "We don't know where it was from."
Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."