Christ's authority is questioned by the chief priests and elders. He relates the parable of the two sons to them.
23. And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
24. And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
26. But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet .
27. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
28. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not .
31. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
32. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness , and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.