But and if we say of men
. Which they had a good will to, against the dictates of their own consciences:
all the people will stone us;
meaning the common people, that were then in the temple about Christ, hearing him preach; who would be so enraged at such an answer, that without any regard to their character and office, they would rise and stone them. The Ethiopic version adds, "whom we fear"; see ( Matthew 21:26 ) for it seems that they had not so behaved as to have the good will and esteem of the people, at least they did not pin their faith on their sleeve:
for they be persuaded that John was a prophet;
they were fully assured of it; and the sentiments and authority of the chief priests could have no weight and influence upon them to weaken their faith in this point; the evidence was so strong, and their faith so firm and sure.