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First Cleansing of the Temple

Early Ministry in Jerusalem

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. John 2:23

Not in this book
Not in this book
Not in this book

Quotes & Notes on:     John 2:23   

  • John Wesley's Notes:
     Many believed-That he was a teacher sent from God.

  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:

    * many. Joh 3:2; 6:14; 7:31; 8:30; 12:42,43; Mt 13:20,21; Mr 4:16,17; Lu 8:13 Ga 5:6; Eph 3:16,17; Jas 2:19,20

  • Adam Clarke's Commentary:

       Many believed in his name] They believed him to be the promised Messiah, but did not believe in him to the salvation of their souls: for we find, from the following verse, that their hearts were not at all changed, because our blessed Lord could not trust himself to them.

  • Family Bible Notes:

     (No comment on this verse).

  • 1599 Geneva Bible Notes:
    (No comment on this verse).

  • People's New Testament Commentary:

       Many believed. The miracles wrought that they saw at this time are not recorded. They are alluded to again in Joh 3:2. These believed that he was a man sent from God, but did not trust in him as the Christ. The nature of their belief is stated in Joh 3:2.

  • Robertson's Word Pictures:
       In Jerusalem (en tois Ierosolumois). The form Ierosoluma as in Joh 2:13 always in this Gospel and in Mark, and usually in Matthew, though Ierousalŕm only in Revelation, and both forms by Luke and Paul. During the feast (en tŕi heortŕi). The feast of unleavened bread followed for seven days right after the passover (one day strictly), though to pascha is used either for the passover meal or for the whole eight days. Believed on his name (episteusan eis to onoma autou). See on »1:12| for this phrase. Only one has to watch for the real import of pisteu˘. Beholding his signs (the˘rountes autou ta sŕmeia). Present active participle (causal use) of the˘re˘. Which he did (ha epoiei). "Which he was doing" (imperfect tense). He did his first sign in Cana, but now he was doing many in Jerusalem. Already Jesus had become the cynosure of all eyes in Jerusalem at this first visit in his ministry.

  • Albert Barnes' Commentary:

       Feast-day. Feast. During the celebration of the Passover, which continued eight days.

    Miracles which he did. These miracles are not particularly recorded. Jesus took occasion to work miracles, and to preach at that time, for a great multitude were present from all parts of Judea. It was a favourable opportunity for making known his doctrines and showing the evidence that he was the Christ, and he embraced it. We should always seek and embrace opportunities of doing good, and we should not be deterred, but rather excited, by the multitude around us to make known our real sentiments on the subject of religion.

  • Jamieson-Faussett Brown:

    in the feast day--the foregoing things occurring probably before the feast began.

    many believed--superficially, struck merely by "the miracles He did." Of these we have no record.

  • Spurgeon Devotional Commentary:

    The gospel wins many converts, and some of them in after days do not turn out to be stable; this however we must look for, as Jesus did, for Joh 2:24 tells us that he did not trust those who were so eager to profess allegiance; for he understood the fickleness of human hearts, the superficial nature of much which passes for true religion, and the ease with which hasty conversions are turned into sudden and final apostacies. May the Lord cleanse our hearts and keep us to the end.

  • William Burkitt's Notes:

    Observe here, What influence the sight of our Saviour's miracles had upon many of the common people, They believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did; that is, they were convinced by the works which our Saviour wrought that he came from God, and what he said and did was really true, and no imposture. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men. Our Saviour did not, and would not trust them who yet believed on his name.

    Thence note, That a naked assent to the history of the gospel is not sufficient to entitle us to saving faith. We may assent to the truth of all that we find there, and yet be far from the kingdom of God.

    Saving faith implies more than the assent of the understanding to the truths of the gospel. We cannot believe or disbelieve what we please, but must needs assent to what is evident to our understanding; so that it is possible for a man to assent to the truth of Christianity and yet remain in a state of of damnation.

    If he doth not embrace it as good, as well as assent to it as true; if our faith be not the parent and principle of obedience; if our belief doth not influence our practice; though we pass for believers amongst men, we are no better than unbelievers in the account of Christ.

    If we believe Jesus to be the true Messiah, and do not receive him in all his office; if we commit ourselves to his saving mercy, but do not submit ourselves to his ruling power; if we desire him for our Saviour, but disown him for our sovereign; if we expect salvation by him, and do not yield subjection to him; we put a cheat upon ourselves: for he only believes as he should, that lives as he does believe.

  • Matthew Henry's  Commentary:

     We have here an account of the success, the poor success, of Christ's preaching and miracles at Jerusalem, while he kept the passover there. Observe,

    1) That our Lord Jesus, when he was at Jerusalem at the passover, did preach and work miracles. People's believing on him implied that he preached; and it is expressly said, They saw the miracles he did. He was now in Jerusalem, the holy city, whence the word of the Lord was to go forth. His residence was mostly in Galilee, and therefore when he was in Jerusalem he was very busy. The time was holy time, the feast day, time appointed for the service of God; at the passover the Levites taught the good knowledge of the Lord 2Ch 30:22, and Christ took that opportunity of preaching, when the concourse of people was great, and thus he would own and honour the divine institution of the passover.


  • Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:

     Our Lord knew all men, their nature, dispositions, affections, designs, so as we do not know any man, not even ourselves. He knows his crafty enemies, and all their secret projects; his false friends, and their true characters. He knows who are truly his, knows their uprightness, and knows their weaknesses. We know what is done by men; Christ knows what is in them, he tries the heart. Beware of a dead faith, or a formal profession: carnal, empty professors are not to be trusted, and however men impose on others or themselves, they cannot impose on the heart-searching God.

  • The Fourfold Gospel:

       Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast. The seven days' feast of unleavened bread (Le 23:5,6).

    Many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did. We have no description of the miracles wrought at this time. See Joh 4:45; 20:30.





Related Quotes & Notes
  • Jesus consistently rejects [signs and miracles as the] basis for belief.  It is too shallow.  Jesus himself knows how easily swayed are men's minds by the merely marvelous -- "signs and wonders"  (cf. 4:48).  He does not trust himself to human witness.  Insight into his true signs comes only by revelation from God (cf. 3:30-36; 5:19-24).

  • Massey H. Shepherd, Jr.,  Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary, p. 713
  • Let us learn hence, not rashly to put ourselves into the power of others.  Let us study a wise and happy medium between universal suspiciousness, and that easiness which would make us the property of every pretender to kindness and respect.

  • John Wesley, Notes Upon the New Testament
  • A party of external, historical believers arose;  convinced of his miracles in the head, untouched by his gospel in the heart.

  • D.D. Whedon, Commentary, p. 248
  • We know what is done by men;  Christ knows what is in them, tries the heart and the reins.  This is the prerogative of that essential eternal Word (Heb. 4;12, 13).  We invade his prerogative if we presume to judge men's hearts. 

  • Matthew Henry, Commentary, p. 880
  • The background for the discourse on the new birth is that of the insufficiency of a faith based on external signs. 

  • A.J. Macleod, New Bible Commentary, p. 870
  • John's purpose, stated in 20:30, 31, furnishes the key [to his emphasis on the close connection between signs and faith].  The signs recorded are in order that the readers might come to faith in Jesus as the Christ and Son of God.  But here there is an unexpected consideration -- Jesus' hesistation to trust them. 

  • Donald Guthrie, New Bible Commentary: Revised, p. 935

  • Commentary Texts 



    Updated:   Wednesday, March 06, 2013 at 03:52 AM



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