21:23-27 As our Lord now openly appeared as the Messiah, the chief priests and scribes were much offended, especially because he exposed and removed the abuses they encouraged. Our Lord asked what they thought of John's ministry and baptism. Many are more afraid of the shame of lying than of the sin, and therefore scruple not to speak what they know to be false, as to their own thoughts, affections, and intentions, or their remembering and forgetting. Our Lord refused to answer their inquiry. It is best to shun needless disputes with wicked opposers.
Mt 21:23-46. The Authority of Jesus Questioned and the Reply—The Parables of the Two Sons, and of the Wicked Husbandman. ( = Mr 11:27-12:12; Lu 20:1-19).
Now commences, as Alford remarks, that series of parables and discourses of our Lord with His enemies, in which He develops, more completely than ever before, His hostility to their hypocrisy and iniquity: and so they are stirred up to compass His death.
The Authority of Jesus Questioned, and the Reply (Mt 21:23-27).
23. By what authority doest thou these things!—referring particularly to the expulsion of the buyers and sellers from the temple,
and who gave thee this authority?