was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?”
Luke 20:4 ESV
When questioned by unbelievers, it’s tempting to feel obliged to give an answer, or at least to know the answer. But it’s interesting how often Jesus didn’t directly answer questions directed at Him. He knew whether the questions asked were red herrings or not, simply to catch Him out.
It would be amazing to know what people really needed to know when they ask questions. Jesus knows what we need to know whatever questions we may have for Him. The religious leaders were trying to catch Him out, so they asked Him by what authority He was teaching.
The religious leaders wanted to catch Jesus out for the accusations of blasphemy or treason they would eventually have Him crucified for. But Jesus simply sidestepped their question by firing back this verse. Either John’s baptism was heavenly and therefore his teachings to follow Jesus should be followed, or else it was manmade and all the people who followed him were misguided.
The religious leaders didn’t want to admit the truth of John’s teachings. But neither did they want to deny it, because that wouldn’t go down well with the people whose allegiance they craved. So they refused to answer Jesus’ question, and He refused to answer theirs.
“Lord, when people question us, please help us to know what the right response is. Thank You for always knowing how to respond to our questioning. Please help us to trust You whether we get an answer or not. For Your glory, amen”