Luke 20:3
Verses 3-6. - And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men! And they reasoned with themselves saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. The reply of Jesus was one of strange wisdom. He - Jesus - as was well known, had been introduced to the people by this very John. If the Sanhedrin acknowledged John the Baptist as a divinely accredited messenger, then surely they could not question the claims of one borne special witness to by him, brought forward and introduced to public notice by him! If, on the other hand, the Sanhedrin refused to acknowledge the authority of John as a Heaven-sent messenger, which would have been the course they would have preferred, then the popularity and influence of the Sanhedrin would have been sorely imperilled, for the people generally held firmly that John the Baptist was really a prophet of the Lord. They even feared - as we read, "All the people will stone us" - personal violence on the part of the people whose favour they so zealously courted.

20:1-8 Men often pretend to examine the evidences of revelation, and the truth of the gospel, when only seeking excuses for their own unbelief and disobedience. Christ answered these priests and scribes with a plain question about the baptism of John, which the common people could answer. They all knew it was from heaven, nothing in it had an earthly tendency. Those that bury the knowledge they have, are justly denied further knowledge. It was just with Christ to refuse to give account of his authority, to those who knew the baptism of John to be from heaven, yet would not believe in him, nor own their knowledge.And he answered and said unto them,.... That is, Jesus replied to them, as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Persic versions express it:

I will also ask you one thing, and answer me; when he also promised, that if they would give him an answer to his question, he would satisfy them in the point they interrogated him about: and as this was a prudent decline to avoid the snare they laid for him, so it was not an impertinent reply to them; since it led on to a proper answer to their question, as appears by the case proposed; See Gill on Matthew 21:24.

Luke 20:2
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