VII. Early Public Work
25. Passover at Jerusalem; Visit with Nicodemus
23Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name.a
24But Jesus did not trust himself to them,
25because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man.
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.b 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi,c we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”
3Jesus answered him: “Verily, verily, I say to you, except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
(Jn. 2:23–25; 3:1–3) (continued)
a “Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name.”—Following his baptism by John, Jesus spends 40 days alone in the wilderness. He then returns to John, who gives public testimony that Jesus is the expected deliverer. Two of John's disciples, Andrew and Peter, become Jesus' first followers. Jesus and his early disciples (Andrew, Peter, James, John, Philip, and Nathaniel) then attend a wedding at Cana. Jesus chooses twelve men as apostles. He then teaches, trains, and ordains them as messengers of his gospel of the kingdom.
The feast of the Passover is the first recorded event of Jesus' public ministry. This feast took place each year in April; since this is the first recorded Passover feast following Jesus' baptism in AD 26 (Ch. 14, fn. a), it probably took place the next year, which would be April, AD 27. If Jesus were born in the summer of 7 BC (Ch. 5, fn. a), he would have been 32 years old at this time, which marks the beginning of his public work.
b “a ruler of the Jews.”—A member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court.
c “Rabbi"—A term of address meaning “teacher” or “master.”
Jn. 2:23 when Jesus was / when he was (RSV)
Jn. 3:3 Verily, verily, I (KJV) / Truly, truly, I (RSV) • [you,] except a man be born (KJV) / you, unless one is born (RSV) • born from above, he (RSV alt. trans.) / born anew, he (RSV) (142:6/1601–2)