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Jewish Leaders Question Jesus(A)

20 One day Jesus was in the Temple, teaching the people and ·telling them the Good News [preaching the Gospel]. The ·leading [T chief] priests, ·teachers of the law [scribes], and elders came up to talk with him, saying, “Tell us what authority you have to do these things? [L Or] Who gave you this authority?”

Jesus answered, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: When John baptized people, was that authority from ·God [L heaven; C a reverent Jewish way of referring to God] or just from ·other people [human beings]?”

They ·argued about this [L discussed this among themselves], saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from ·God [L heaven],’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘It was from ·other people [human beings],’ all the people will stone us to death, because they ·believe [are convinced that] John was a prophet.” So they answered that they didn’t know where it came from.

Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.”

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Leaders Doubt Jesus’ Authority(A)

23 Jesus went to the Temple [courts], and while he was teaching there, the ·leading [T chief] priests and the elders of the people came to him. They said, “What authority do you have to do these things? [L And] Who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus answered, “I also will ask you a question. If you answer me, then I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. 25 Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from ·God [L heaven; C a reverential Jewish way of referring to God] or just from ·other people [human beings]?”

They argued about Jesus’ question, saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from ·God [L heaven],’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘It was from ·people [human beings],’ we are afraid of what the crowd will do because they all ·believe [think; hold] that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.

A Story About Two Sons

28 “Tell me what you think about this: A man had two sons. He went to the ·first [elder] son and said, ‘Son, go and work today in ·my [the] vineyard.’ 29 The son answered, ‘I will not go.’ But later the son ·changed his mind [regretted/thought better of it] and went. 30 Then the father went to the other son and said, ·‘Son, go and work today in my vineyard’ [L the same thing]. The son answered, ‘Yes, sir, I will,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two sons ·obeyed [L did the will of] his father?”

·The priests and leaders [L They] answered, “The first son.”

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes ·will enter [are going into] the kingdom of God ·before you do [ahead of you]. 32 [L For] John came to show you the ·right way to live [the way/path of righteousness]. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Even after seeing this, you still refused to ·change your ways [change your mind; repent] and believe him.

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Leaders Doubt Jesus’ Authority(A)

27 Jesus and his ·followers [disciples] went again to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the Temple [complex; area; courts; see 11:15], the ·leading [T chief] priests, the ·teachers of the law [scribes], and the elders came to him. 28 They said to him, “What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

29 Jesus answered, “I will ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you what authority I have to do these things. 30 Tell me: When John baptized people, was that authority from ·God [L heaven; C a reverential Jewish way of referring to God] or just from ·other people [human beings]?”

31 They argued about Jesus’ question, saying, “If we answer, ‘John’s baptism was from ·God [L heaven],’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘It was from ·other people [human beings],’ the crowd will be against us.” (These leaders were afraid of the people, because all the people believed that John was a prophet.)

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said to them, “Then I won’t tell you what authority I have to do these things.”

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