Read Psalm 118 together with this passage. Hardness of heart is a great defect that our heart itself hides from us. Hardness of heart marked Jerusalem, even as superstition marked Galilee.
“Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”
These folk worked hard to undermine Jesus, His teaching, His authority. They were scared of Him and what He spoke about, they were full of anger and even hatred.
So how does Jesus answer their attempt to undermine?
He doesn’t smite them and show in great power His authority, real and true.
Jesus takes the opportunity to teach, both those people there in that moment, and all of us through every age.
God’s authority does not need defending. It should be obvious (because we all have eternity set in our hearts, and the evidence is writ large through creation), but it will absolutely be obvious on that final day (because all will come to light, including the full reality of the endpoints of both the broad and narrow ways).
* Great God Above,
You are the sovereign Lord – Creator, Sustainer, Life-Giver.
There are none like You mighty God.
You are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We praise Your Name.