In answering Jesus that they did not know, the chief priests and elders lied. Consequently it would have been appropriate for the Lord to respond by saying, “Neither do I know.” The truth cannot lie, however, so he replied instead, “Neither will I tell you.” By this he shows both that they knew the answer but were unwilling to say it and that he also knows the answer but will not speak it because they remained silent. Immediately, then, he tells a parable designed to convince them of their own sinfulness and of the necessity that the kingdom of God be transferred to the Gentiles. .
And how was it they did not say that the baptism was of men? They feared the people Matthew 21:26 it is said. Do you see a perverse heart? In every case they despise God and do all things for the sake of men. For this man too they feared for their sakes not reverencing the saint but on account of men, and they were not willing to believe in Christ, because of men, and all their evils were engendered to them from hence.