Matthew 21:24 I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:24 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.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I am going to question you, even I, about one lesson, which, if you address [it] to me, I am also going to address you in whose power I create.

Hidden Meaning: 

A lot is hidden here, including the fact that Christ uses the important Greek word usually translated as "word" in this verse. The humor here in his use of that word. Notice, while Christ addresses this statement to the priests and elders who questioned his teaching, how well it fits with his previous statement about God answering our prayers. God gives us the opportunity, but we must take advantage of those opportunities to make our prayers come true.

A contraction is used that means "I also" or more commonly "I and", but pronouns such as "I" are only used as the subject in Greek when the speaker wants to emphasize them, since they are already part of the verb. Here, since the verb appears first in the Greek (fairly unusually), this is a repetition of the fact Christ is asking.

"Will ask" is from a verb that means "to ask", "to question," and "to ask about." this is the first time Christ uses this term in the Bible. It appears seldom in Matthew and Mark, but more commonly in Luke and John.

"Thing" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning." It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Christ uses it in the sense of "lesson" to describe the teaching he has received from the Father. Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article.

The word translated as "which" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

"You tell" is from the Greek verb that means "to say", "address," and "to speak" but, it has less a sense of teaching and more a sense of addressing and talking that the other common word for "to speak."

The "I in likewise" here is the same "and I" contraction used above.

The "will tell" is the first person fuure form of the same verb used above.

The word translated as "what" also means "what kind" and "whose."

"Authority" is from a noun that means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of priveledge", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power."

The Greek word translated as "I do" has the primary meaning of to "make", "create," or produce" something or to "cause" or "render" as service.

Wordplay: 

The phrase repeats the use of the first and second person pronouns to see up a contrast. 

The Spoken Version: 

I am will ask you,
I too,
for one lesson:
Which, if you tell me,
then I too,
I will tell you
about whose power I use.

Vocabulary: 

Ἐρωτήσω (verb 1st sg fut ind act) "Will ask" is from erôtaô, which means "to ask", "to question," and "to ask about."

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is from humas, which is the 2nd person plural pronoun for objects of a sentence.

κἀγὼ (pron 1st sg masc/fem nom) "I also" is from kago, a contraction of kai ego, which is the contraction of "I" and "and" the common conjunction. Kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

λόγον (noun sg masc acc) "Thing" is from logos, which means "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion," "reckoning," word," and "value."

ἕνα, (noun sg masc acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

ὃν (pron sg masc acc) "Which" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐὰν "If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.

εἴπητέ (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye tell" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

μοι (pron 1st sg masc/fem dat) "Me" is from moi, which means "I", "me", and "my". -- The "me" is in the dative, which has a number of uses in Greek.

κἀγὼ (pron 1st sg masc/fem nom) "I in likewise" is from kago, a contraction of kai ego.

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin, the 2nd person pronoun.

ἐρῶ verb (1st sg fut ind act) "I will tell" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

ἐν "By" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ποίᾳ (adj sg fem dat) "What" is from poios, which means "of what kind", "whose", "what," and "which."

ἐξουσίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Authority" is from exousia which means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of privilege", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power." -- The term translated as "power" isn't the "power" of skill or energy but of authority, control, and the ability to choose.

ταῦτα "These things" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." -- The "this" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." It is not typically used as an adjective.

ποιῶ: (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "I do" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."