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Now it happened that one day he had gone into the Temple and was teaching the people and proclaiming the good news, when the chief priests, scribes and the elders of the people came to him and said, “Tell us, what authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?” In reply, Jesus said to them, “And I will ask you a question, just one; if you tell me the answer to it, then I will tell you my authority for acting like this. John's baptism: what was its origin, heavenly or human? Answer me that.” Then they began to argue this way among themselves, “If we say heavenly, he will retort to us, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?” and if we say human, we have the people to fear, the whole people will stone us, for they all hold that John was a real prophet.” Therefore, their reply to Jesus was, “We do not know.” He retorted to them, “Well then, I will not tell you my authority for acting like this.”

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