And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him. And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. And it came to pass, that
on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him
with the elders. And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? 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. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was
. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. -- St. Luke xix: 47, 48; xx: 1-8.
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NOTE BY THE ARTIST
The occasion on which Jesus encountered for the last time the opposition of his priestly enemies to his teaching, and when, in the presence of the assembled multitudes, he exposed and denounced their hypocrisy, is supposed to take place in one of the great outer courts of the Temple, the buildings of which, although begun forty-six years previously, were at this time still unfinished, and were indeed never fully completed in accordance with their original design.