Now the Passover of the Jews was approaching, and many from the country went up to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves [ceremonially, so that they would be able to participate in the feast].
It was almost time for the ·Passover Feast [L Passover of the Jews; C the annual festival that celebrates God’s rescue of Israel from Egypt; Ex. 12; John 2:13]. Many from the country went up to Jerusalem before the Passover to ·do the special things to make themselves pure [L purify/consecrate themselves; Num. 9:6–13].
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, addressed the meeting: “You plainly don’t understand what is involved here. You do not realise that it would be a good thing for us if one man should die for the sake of the people—instead of the whole nation being destroyed.” (He did not make this remark on his own initiative but, since he was High Priest that year, he was in fact inspired to say that Jesus was going to die for the nation’s sake—and in fact not for that nation only, but to bring together into one family all the children of God scattered throughout the world.) From that day then, they planned to kill him. As a consequence Jesus made no further public appearance among the Jews but went away to the countryside on the edge of the desert, and stayed with his disciples in a town called Ephraim. The Jewish Passover was approaching and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem before the actual Passover, to go through a ceremonial cleansing. They were looking for Jesus there and kept saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Surely he won’t come to the festival?”
The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: “What do you think? Do you think he’ll show up at the Feast or not?”
It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began.