Today's verses are Mark 11:31-33: "And they discussed it with one another, saying, 'If we say, From heaven, he will say, Why then did you not believe him?' But shall we say, 'From man?'--they were afraid of the people for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, 'We do not know.' And Jesus said to them, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.'" Jesus had cleansed the temple. He had performed mighty miracles, not only in the temple, but throughout the country. His teaching was given as one who possessed authority. The religious officials approached him and asked him by what authority he did all these things.
Jesus knew it was a trap. They wanted to hear him say, "From God." He knew that would give them the evidence of blasphemy they wanted from him.
Wisely, he answered their question with a question. He asked them if John's baptism was from God or man? Jesus knew this placed the religious authorities in a severe conundrum. If the said, "From man," the people would be exceedingly angry with them because John was popular. Many lives had been changed through John's baptismal ministry. If they said, "From God," the people would be angry because the religious officials did not stand with John, authenticating his ministry as being from God.
Realizing their dilemma, the religious officials refused to answer Jesus. Similarly, Jesus refused to answer their question of him.
The religious officials' confession of ignorance to answer Jesus' question shows they had no basis upon which to judge Jesus' ministry. If they couldn't determine the source of John's ministry, how could they judge the source of Jesus' ministry? If they couldn't tell if John was from God, how could they tell if Jesus was from God?
In responding the way he did, Jesus knew this truth: if you wait long enough, you'll most often see what's in a person's heart. By answering the way he did, Jesus exposed not only the religious officials' ignorance but also their lack of sincerity. They were "hypocrites," as Jesus had called them in Matthew 23. They wore masks. They pretended to be religious while hiding behind their masks of moral and spiritual superiority.
Perhaps you're dealing with a difficult person in your life today, someone whom you think hides behind masks. Perhaps it's a person you know is insincere and pretends to be someone he/she isn't. You wish he/she would be exposed. But you can't force it.
Continue to wait. Don't reveal your heart. Ask a lot of questions! If you're patient, long enough, most often, eventually, the true motives of a person's heart will be exposed. You will see their ignorance. You will see their insincerity.
People can't hide their true selves forever.