The Eighteenth Sunday of Pentecost

Jesus Answers a Question with a Question

Matthew 21: 23 - 32

Mark 11: 27 - 33

Luke 20: 1 - 8

Though many Northern Europeans think it is extremely rude to answer a question with a question in casual conversation, to answer a question with a question is a traditional element of Jewish scholarly discussion.

Jesus was teaching in the courts of the Temple in Jerusalem when the chief priests and elders approached him. These men may have been members of the Sanhedrin.

It is an important part of Christian belief that any question may be asked in good faith, for all truth comes from God and therefore all truth leads to God.

But the chief priests and elders were trying to trip Jesus up, so that they might charge him with blasphemy (speaking against God). Instead of opening a discussion with their question, they ended one.

Once again, Jesus points to the teaching and baptizing of John the Baptist.

1. What did they chief priests and elders ask Jesus?

[The chief priests and elders asked Jesus, "By what authority do you do these things?"]

2. How did Jesus reply?

[Jesus replied with a question, "Where did John's baptism come from?"]

3. What did the priests and elders reply?

[The priests and elders replied, "We don't know."]


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