John 2:23-25 THE MINISTRY OF JESUS DURING THE PASSOVER WEEK
The Passover week is technically more than a week. It begins
on the day of the Passover and lasts for eight days.
In our previous text Jesus cleansed the temple at Jerusalem
during the very early part of His public ministry. When He
entered into the Court of the Gentiles, He made a whip out of
ropes and drove out the sheep and oxen which were there for sale.
He drove out the people who sold them. He made those who sold
doves take the doves out of the temple. He poured the money from
the money tables out on the floor, overturned the tables and
drove the money changers out of the temple.
The Jewish leaders demanded that He show them a sign to prove
that He had authority from heaven take charge in the temple.
Jesus did not show them a sign at that time, but He did promise
to show them a sign later.
Our text today takes up where our previous text left off and
gives a brief description of the ministry
of Jesus at
during the eight days of celebration of the Passover.
I. Jesus while inside the temple
Keep in mind that this was not the first Passover that Jesus
had attended. He had attended Passover celebrations at Jerusalem
since He was twelve years old. He is now thirty years old. So
He had been attending Passover
years. Yet this is the first Passover celebration since He
started His public ministry. His ministry is still in the very
To say the least, He made an impression on everybody at this
occasion. He most certainly made an impression on the temple
officials who were in charge of the sale of animals and selling
Hebrew coins to those from foreign lands. He had disrupted their
whole business. I am assuming that they continued to sell the
animals and coins after He drove them out, but they had to do it
outside the temple grounds. I seriously doubt that they had the
nerve to bring animals back inside during the whole Passover
In sharp contrast to His cleansing of the temple at the close
of His ministry, there is nothing said about Him doing anything
further inside the temple grounds that would attract much
attention. I am sure that His very presence there attracted
attention, but His activity within the temple during the
remaining week was very low key.
II. Jesus outside the temple in the city of Jerusalem
After driving out the animals and those who sold, the main
focus of the activity of Jesus was outside the temple grounds.
V. 23, "Now when he was in
feast day..." The term "feast day" takes in all of the eight day
period of feasting connected with the Passover. That is, it
takes in the Passover Day itself and the week of feasting that
followed. But there is no further mention of Him doing anything
special in the temple itself. Rather the focus is upon His
activity out in the city of
Everywhere Jesus went in the city He attracted crowds of
people. What He had done on that first day that He entered the
temple was still fresh on the minds of the people and they
followed Him largely to see what else He might do.
Furthermore, the announcement of John the Baptist concerning
Jesus was still fresh on everybody's minds. John had announced
that Jesus is the promised Christ. John said also that Jesus is
the Son of God. That and that alone was enough to attract a lot
of attention to Him.
Furthermore, there must have been some talk about the miracle
which He had done back at
into wine. With as much attention as Jesus had already drawn to
Himself by cleansing the temple it would not take long for the
news of such thing to spread throughout the city.
III. The response of the people to Jesus
(V. 23), "...many believed in his name, when they saw the
miracles which he did." There are two things here that we need
to note. First, note that many people believed in His name. We
would normally understand such a statement to mean that they
believed that He is the Christ and that they trusted in Him to be
their Savior. Surely that is the case with at least some of
them, perhaps a goodly number. But we will see evidence in the
next verse that many of them may not have believed to that
extent. This suggests that most of them at this point of time
merely believed that His power to work miracles came from God and
that He must was a prophet sent from God. It is good that they
believed to that extent, but that is not enough. They needed to
believe in Him fully. They needed to believe in Him as the
Christ and they needed to trust in Him as their Savior. That is
what every man, woman, boy and girl needs to do.
The second thing in this part of the verse which we need to
take special notice of is that He worked miracles. He worked
miracles there in
miracles He performed, but it would be reasonable to assume that
He healed the sick. He must have healed a great many sick folk.
Most of the critically sick folk were not here. The were unable
to travel. But there were, no doubt, some critically sick locals
present and a goodly number of mildly sick people from a
distance. At any rate, once Jesus healed one sick person, it
would not be long before there would be a flood of people
gathered around Him waiting to be healed. And He did; He healed
IV. The reaction of Jesus to the people
V. 24, "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because
he knew all men." This is a rather strange statement. At least,
at first it is. It is strange in view of the previous statement
that they believed in Him. If they had fully understood that
Jesus is the Christ and fully believed that Jesus is the Christ,
it would seem strange that He would not commit Himself to them.
So this brings up a question: What does John mean when he
said that Jesus did not commit Himself to them? It means at
least two things. First of all, it means that Jesus did not come
right out and tell these people that He is the Christ. John had
announced that He is the Christ. He states firmly that Jesus is
the Christ. Jesus had told those whom He drove out of the temple
that this was His Father's house. That rather indirectly made
reference to Himself as the Christ, but Jesus never came right
out and told these people that He is the Christ. This is a
policy that He would follow right up to the end of His public
ministry when He would make His triumphal
and thereby for the first time proclaim Himself to the general
public that He is the Christ. On several occasions He would
acknowledge it privately to His disciples that He is the Christ,
but not to the general public.
Secondly, this statement means that Jesus not only did not
proclaim Himself to them as the Christ, but neither did He set
Himself forth to them to be a leader of any kind to whom they
should become devoted. He did not publicly ask them to be His
loyal followers. In all probably some of them did, but most of
them did not.
V. The supernatural knowledge of Jesus concerning men
In verse 25 John tells us why Jesus did not commit Himself to
them. V. 25, "And needed not that any should testify of man: for
he knew what was in man." We are unable to read the inner
thoughts and motives of other people. But Jesus knows the
innermost thoughts of everyone. Jesus knew that most of these
people were not yet ready to be committed to Him. He knew that
most of them would never be committed to Him. It appears from
what the Scripture tells us here that most of them were not even
saved. They had believed in Jesus as a great miracle worker, but
not as the Christ -- not as the Son of God -- not as their
By the way, Jesus knows the difference between a genuine
profession of faith and a superficial profession of faith. Jesus
knows whether or not one has been genuinely saved or if he has
made a false profession of faith. Jesus loves to have people
believe in Him and be saved, but He does want them to be
genuinely saved. He wants their profession of faith to be
genuine. Jesus knew that most of these people had not really
trusted in Him as their Savior so He did not publicly acknowledge
to them that He is the Christ.
VI. The accomplishments of Jesus during this Passover
This may also give us the impression that Jesus did not
really accomplish much during the first stay of His ministry at
Jerusalem. However, if we take another look, we will find that
He accomplished a great deal.
In the first place, there were surely some of those people
who genuinely believed in Jesus as the Christ and Savior. That
was most certainly worthwhile. Even if only one had been saved,
that would have been worthwhile. Whoever was saved would avoid
the fires of hell and make it to heaven and would be a witness
for Him from this time forward. Some of them would become
faithful followers. This is no small accomplishment.
Then also, Jesus established Himself as a man to be reckoned
with. He most certainly made a lasting impression on the Jewish
leadership in Jerusalem. From this moment forward, they would
know that Jesus was a man to be reckoned with. He had made it
clear to them and clear to the public in general that He did not
approve of their leadership. They would never take their eyes
off His ministry from this time forth. They would watch every
move that He would make and use every opportunity to work against
Even the general public would look upon Jesus as a man to be
reckoned with. They would continue to look upon Him as a
prophet. They would consider Him a great prophet. The miracles
which He had performed and would continue to perform gave
powerful evidence that He is a man of God. Only at the very last
would these people be swayed by the scribes and Pharisees to turn
against Jesus. For the next three years they would be His ardent
admirers even though they were not His disciples.
So Jesus had made a big showing fast. In one eight day
period of time He has caught the attention of the whole nation of
Israel. People from all over the nation and from all the
surrounding nations were there in Jerusalem for the observance of
the Passover and Jesus had made a big hit with the great
majority. From this time forward, wherever He would go people
would flock to see and hear Him. It was a great beginning for
VII. Taking a look at our own lives
But now let us take a look at our own lives in view of this
passage of Scripture. Let us understand that Jesus knows what is
within every individual. Jesus does not need to wait until the
books are open at the day of judgment to know what is in man. He
already knows the innermost thoughts of every person. If one has
hatred for another individual, Jesus knows about it. The Bible
says that hating another individual makes one a murderer in his
heart. He may not have actually taken the life of another
person, but in his heart he has committed murder.
If a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, the Bible says
that he is guilty of adultery in his heart. If one is guilty of
adulterer in his heart, Jesus knows about it. Even if it is a
woman who has committed adultery in her heart Jesus knows about
it. If one has actually committed the deed of adultery, Jesus
knows about it.
If one covets the possessions of another, in effect, he is a
thief in the innermost chambers of his heart. If one is a thief
in actual deeds or only in his heart Jesus knows about it.
If one takes God's name in vain, Jesus knows about it. Jesus
knows every sinful deed and every sinful thought of every
In fact, Jesus knows that we have all sinned and come short
of the perfection that is required to get into heaven. If we had
to qualify for heaven by our own conduct and our own thoughts,
not one person would qualify. We would all burn in the fires of
hell forever because we have all sinned.
But Jesus is the Christ as John the Baptist had said. Jesus
is the Son of God as John the Baptist had said. Jesus is the
Savior of men, women, boys and girls. Jesus is the Savior that
God the Father has sent to the world to save all who repent of
their sin and trust in Jesus for salvation.
Jesus did not come to the world just to heal the earthly
bodies of those who are sick. He did heal many sick folk, but
the real purpose of His coming was to seek and to save those who
are lost and on the road to hell.
Jesus did not come to the world just to get the limelight and
make a name for Himself as a miracle worker or even as a prophet
of God. Jesus came to the world to suffer and die on the cross
and to give His own blood that lost sinners can be saved.
One of these days He will return to this world and I believe
that it will not be very long.
Jesus is One to be reckoned with. One will either accept Him
as the Christ and trust in Him as Savior, or he will stand before
Him and be sentenced by Him to the everlasting fires of torment.
Jesus will either save you or sentence you.
I am one of those people who really believes that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. I am
convinced that I am not alone in this belief. I am convinced
that there are others right here in this service who believe the
same as I.
The question that I ask is this: Is there someone here this
morning who has already believed in Jesus Christ to the salvation
of your soul who has not yet made a public profession of faith?
If so, would you come forward this morning and publicly
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is your Savior and that you wish to
follow Him in baptism.